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avatar_Hatshepsut

Bulgarian language

Started by Hatshepsut, 05 October 2021, 22:28:55

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Hatshepsut

Bulgarian language

Source: https://lyudmilantonov.blogspot.com/2011/02/history-of-bulgarian-language.html

Bulgarian language takes а prominent place in comparative linguistics and constitutes an important link in the chain of Indo-European languages. The historical study of Bulgarian language is important not only to Bulgarians but to all other Slavs, too, because it answers many questions about the history of all Slavic languages. Bulgarian language prides itself with very old written monuments: Slavic linguistics would not be as advanced as it is now without these Old Bulgarian manuscripts; it would not be so useful to the general comparative linguistics if there wasn't Old Bulgarian language, preserved and transferred to us through millenia clearly and accurately with its living pronunciation in Bulgarian dialects.
Taking into account this great importance of Old Bulgarian on one hand, and on the other — the dark obscurity that hid Bulgarians and their language for five centuries until 1878, one can understand how even bright minds can be confused about the origin of this ancient language and how everyone, affected by national sentiment, could consider it as a language close to his own nationality.

Studying the language in time and place will explain this issue, will strenghten the conviction that the language of Sst Cyril and Methodius really originates in the Bulgarian land. Thus, in addition to so many phonological and morphological similarities proving the kinship of old and new Bulgarian language, Bulgarian dialectology proves also that all the beautiful words known from the Old Bulgarian monuments, exist even today in Bulgarian language — of course, not as popular words but as provincialisms. Who has not been exulted when, perusing dialect or folkloristic materials, suddenly finds some old Bulgarian word that wasn't known to exist in Bulgarian dialects? Such words sound like a distant echo from this old time when all Bulgarian Slavs spoke them as common words; but today we think of them either as deep provincialisms or as high bookish phrases, loaned from Russian literature.

Slavic alphabet and Bulgarian language

At the end of the first quarter of the 7th century, the settlement of the Slavs on the Balkan Peninsula was almost completed. The western Balkans were occupied with Slavic ancestors of today Serbs, Croats, and Slovenians, while its central, eastern, and southern parts, i.e., Moesia and Dobrudja, Pomoravie and Timok, Thrace and Rhodopes, Macedonia, Central and Southern Albania, Epirus, were occupied by the Slavs of the eastern Slavic group. Part of these tribes continued to inhabit wide territory north of the Danube. Slavic tribes penetrated to the southernmost parts of Greece, and settled some Aegean Islands. Data about these Slavic tribes are scarce and knowledge about them is incomplete. It is known that Severs (or Severians) lived in Dobrudja. To the west of them, the Danubian plain was settled by the great tribal Slav union called The Union of the Seven Tribes. More to the west, in the region of river Timok lived the Timochans, and in the region of river Morava lived the Moravians. In the northwestern part of Thrace, in the foothills of the Rhodopes and the Balkan lived the Dragoviches, in the basin of river Struma − Strymons (Strumiantsi or Strumians). Close to the Aegean Sea coast between the rivers Struma and Mesta was settled the tribe of the Smolians; north of the Chalkidiki Peninsula between the rivers Vardar and Struma lived the Rinkhins. In Macedonia, in the valley of the Crna river were the Berezites. Each South Slav tribe had its own dialect that was close to the dialects of the other tribes.


Slavic tribes on the Balkans (5-7 c.) before arrival of the Bulgars

In the second half of the 7th century, the fate of the eastern and southern Slavic tribes was forever associated with another people — Bulgars (proto-Bulgarians) — who, led by Asparuh, forced Byzantium after a series of battles to recognize in 681 the new state of Slavs and Bulgars, to conclude a peace treaty with them and pay them an annual tax. Another Bulgar leader, Kuber, with his group settled in Macedonia and from there tried to conquer Solun.

During 6 to 9 century most of the Slavic tribes to the north and south of the Danube were included within the Bulgarian state, which became an attractive center for Slavs, because they considered Bulgars as their defenders and allies against the common enemy Byzantium. Slavs, through their superiority in number, assimilated first the local Thracian population, who had been partly Romanized and partly Hellenized, and then the two Bulgar tribes (one in the northeast and the other in the area of today's Macedonia). Through this process of assimilation, Slavs became the main ethnic component of the Bulgarian nation in the three geographic areas — Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia — that comprised the Bulgarian state during most of its existence until it was conquered by the Ottomans. The name of the new state — Bulgaria — was derived from Bulgars whose families governed the state administration. Such examples are not rare in the political history of European nations. It is enough to indicate the case with the French, a people of Latin origin, who took the name of the Germanic tribe Franks.

It is well known and universally accepted that early Bulgarian (and Slavic, in general) literature is associated with the work of the Solun brothers Cyril and Methodius. Direct incentive for the creation of Slavic alphabet and the first Slavic books was the request of the Moravian Prince Rastislav made in 862 to the Byzantine Emperor Michael III, to send him "a bishop and mentor" to preach Christianity in understandable language. For this difficult educational mission, the Byzantine Emperor chose the Solun brothers who had been already famous for their knowledge. According to the hagiographies of the two brothers-saints, the Emperor chose them because, although they were Byzantines, as citizens of Solun they knew the language of the local Slavo-Bulgarian population. Cyril and Methodius made a new alphabet (Glagolitic alphabet) in 862 (or 863) and translated the most important liturgical books from Greek to Slavo-Bulgarian. Thus, Old Bulgarian became a literary language that served as a basis for the formation of the other Slavic literary languages.

The mission of the two brothers in Moravia was not successful: their schools were closed and their students were persecuted and driven out of Moravia. Some of the students reached Bulgaria where they were met with respect and jubilation. Bulgaria was ruled at this time by the learned Tsar Boris I, who several years earlier had enforced Christianization of Bulgarians. Boris I needed the alphabet to have Byzantine liturgical books translated from Greek to Bulgarian and immediately organized building of schools and teaching the new Slavic alphabet throughout Bulgaria. Two centers of learning and writing, led by Cyril and Methodius students, were established in Bulgaria: one in the second Bulgarian capital Preslav in the northeast, led by Naum and Ioan Exarch, and the other in Ochrid in the southwest, led by Climent. In the second half of 9th and the first half of 10th centuries these centers, and also schools and monasteries throughout Bulgaria produced the earliest Slavic literature, a period which is known as the Golden Century in Bulgarian culture.[1]

In the 9th century, in Bulgaria was created another Old Bulgarian alphabet, Cyrillic alphabet which replaced the Glagolitic alphabet. Cyrillic alphabet was used by Bulgarians, Russians, Serbians, and Romanian many centuries afterwards. Gradually, elements of the respective spoken languages seeped in to replace archaic elements and thus the respective recensions of Old Bulgarian appeared (Russian recension, Serbian recension, etc.). In the Old Bulgarian period (9th to 11th century) the letters were carefully drawn without abrupt changes in the direction of writing and no connections between individual letters. The difference between writing styles concerned primarily letter size. Since 12th century the large font (Ustav writing) was replaced with a smaller font (semi-Ustav writing), in which some elements for faster writing appeared.

The presence of a common written language at such early time preceding the formation of most other European nations was a great unifying factor that gave a strong impetus to the consolidation of the Bulgarian nation and the development of Bulgarian national conscience. In the following centuries during periods of foreign occupation, the effort to preserve the Bulgarian language was the main factor counteracting the assimilatory policies of the occupying powers.

Migrations

The territorial distribution of dialects is to a large degree also a result of the major migratory movements, which have been particularly strong for Bulgaria. From 10th century up till modern times large Bulgarian ethnic masses often moved in one direction or another, changed their territory and this has had an enormous impact on the formation, evolution and territorial distribution of today's Bulgarian dialects. As early as 10th century Bulgarian Bogomils (heretics) migrated en masse to Byzantium. In the 13th century, large numbers of Bulgarians from the Danubian plain were forcibly re-settled to Transylvania (Siebenbürgen) by Magyars and sold as slaves.[3] The Bulgarian national conscience and unity were very negatively influenced by the invasion of the Turks that commenced in mid-14th century and resulted in their complete settlement in Bulgaria at the end of that century. The Turkish rule caused indescribable sufferings to the Bulgarian people and caused significant changes in the ethnographic situation in Bulgaria. As early as the first decades of the Turkish rule some regions lost completely their Bulgarian character. In the northeastern Bulgaria those were Ludogorieto (Deliorman), Tuzluk and the foothills of Eastern Balkan Mountains, in the southeastern Bulgaria — almost the whole Thracian plain and Eastern Rhodopes. A part of the Bulgarian population in these areas was uprooted: either killed or captured and sold into slavery. Another part escaped in inaccessible and remote highlands in the Balkans and the Central Rhodopes. A third part was forcibly removed to other places in order to free up space for the Turkish colonists. For instance, some of the few surviving citizens of the capital Tarnovo after its fall in 1393 were resettled in the Malko Tarnovo region, and others in the Central Rhodopes where they founded several settlements, e.g. Ustovo.[4] At the time, a significant number of Bulgarians were resettled to Asia Minor. In general, in 14th and 15th century the Bulgarian population in the great plains — the Danubian and Thracian, was almost completely destroyed. Since 16th and especially 17th century, however, the Bulgarians began to climb into these lowland areas from the Balkan and Rhodopes mountains and gradually settled there, first as part-time and later as permanent workers in the Turkish chifliks (manors) and as independent farmers and shepherds.
Major changes in Bulgaria occurred in the 16th century with forced Islamisation and Turkifications in the Rhodopes, Lovech, Teteven, and Gerlovo regions. Some of the Bulgarians in these areas were Turkified and others ran to faraway lands. Great changes occurred in Northern Bulgaria after the unfortunate Tarnovo uprising in 1598. In the 17th century after the failure of Chiprovtsi uprising in 1688 significant parts of northwestern Bulgaria were almost completely de-Bulgarised. Part of the population was killed, and others ran to exile in Wallachia and Banat.



In 18th and 19th century during the wars between Russia and Turkey, large masses of Bulgarian population, mainly from eastern Bulgaria, escaped with the Russian troops north of Danube in Romania, Bessarabia, Azov Sea Coast, Crimea, etc. After the Liberation, there was a mass exodus of the Turkish population which was replaced by Bulgarians from the highlands. The fields and plains were quickly re-Bulgarized. Even the Banat Bulgarians returned to their native land. Migrations continued during the 20th century, beginning with the Balkan wars and the massive de-Bulgarization of Thrace and Macedonia through "voluntary" emigration of Bulgarians from Thrace in Greece 1925-1926 and the resettlement of the Bulgarians in North Dobrudzha in 1941.

Periods in language development
Prehistoric period

Some linguistic features of the Slavo-Bulgarian dialects before the appearance of Slavic books (9th century) can be inferred through the analysis of the numerous local Slavic names, preserved since that distant era in areas populated by Slavo-Bulgarians, and by old Bulgarian loan words that entered the Albanian, Greek, Romanian and Hungarian languages. Best suited for this purpose are Slavic toponyms in today's Greece, particularly in its southern parts. Slavo-Bulgarian population in Greece was assimilated by Greeks (Hellenized) much earlier than in the trans-Danubian regions. Furthermore, the Greek lands were far from any later influence from another Slavic language. Compared with the very few Slavic loan words in the Greek language, the Greek toponyms of Slavic origin in today's Greece surprise with their great number and antiquity. Most of them reflect the very old phonetic features of the language of the Bulgarian Slavs who penetrated as already noted, deep in southern Greece. It was not so with the trans-Danubian regions that are now occupied by Hungary and Romania. Surrounded from all sides by other Slavic nations, they had been experiencing their varied impact over the following centuries.
Between 6th to 9th century A.D. the Slavic languages gradually separated by a slow but constant departure from the original proto-Slavic language. In this period the Bulgarian national language slowly took shape on the basis of tribal dialects of the Slavo-Bulgarian population, whose main mass had already been located in the south-eastern regions of the Balkan Peninsula. The earliest differences between the emerging Slavic languages were phonetic. Thus, for example, in the dialects of the Slavo-Bulgarian tribes the proto-Slavic palatals *tj and *dj were already pronounced as diphtongs шт /ʃt/ (or шч /ʃtʃ/) and жд /ʒd/ (or ждж /ʒdʒ/), cf. свѣшта from pr.-Sl. свѣ/*tj/а and межда from pr.-Sl. ме/*dj/а. In all other Slavic languages these sounds underwent a different change specific for each language. An early difference between the Slavo-Bulgarian dialects and the dialects of other Slavic peoples is found in the evolution of the typical proto-Slavic vowel ѣ /*ja/ (yat). Only in the dialects of the Slavo-Bulgarians, ѣ evolved in wide e (either я /ʲa/ or е /ɛ/) which is very typical even for the modern Bulgarian language, cf. e.g. хляб /hlʲab/ (bread) or dial. хлеб /hlɛb/ from OBg. хлѣбъ.

Abundant evidence shows that in the language of the Slavo-Bulgarians the palatinized *tj and *dj were pronounced as /ʃt/ and /ʒd/ and the yat vowel was pronounced as /*ja/. Those are found primarily in archaic Slavo-Bulgarian toponymy in today's Greece and South and Central Albania, i.e. in areas that were densely populated by Slavo-Bulgarian population. Thus, in today Greece there are local names as Κορύστιανη = Кориштане, Πεστά = Пешт, Μεσδάνι = Междане. South and Central Albanian toponyms are Пештер, Лешта, Хоштова, Гаждени. The fact that the yat vowel ѣ in the language of the Slavo-Bulgarians was pronounced as я /*ja/, is demonstrated by the presence of archaic Slavic toponyms in Greece as ̒Ρεάχοβου = Ряхово, Λιασκοβέτσι = Лясковец, Δρανίτσα = Дряница. In today's South and Central Albania one finds archaic Slavic toponyms like Лясковик, Лябово, Сяново, etc. Hence, it is evident why all researchers of archaic Slavic toponymy in Greece and Albania clearly state that it is a remnant of a Slavic population who spoke Bulgarian language.[9] [10] The diphtongs шт and жд (the diphtong шт later acquired a letter, шт = щ) and the yat vowel ѣ as in хлѣб, мѣсто, грѣх remain typical for a large part of the Bulgarian dialects.

Old Bulgarian

The earliest written sources that give information on the history of Bulgarian language are from 10th to 11th century. These are manuscripts on parchment, mostly transcripts of translations of Cyril and Methodius and their students. The oldest Bulgarian Glagolitic and Cyrillic monuments, preserved in latter transcriptions, are: Mariin Gospel, Zograf Gospel, Asemanii Gospel, Sinai Psalm Book, Sinai Liturgical Book, Klotz Collection, Suprasal Collection, St. Sava's Book, Enina Apostle, etc. The language in the translations represents the first stage in the development of the Bulgarian written language. This language has the following major phonetic and morphological traits:
Existence of nasal vowels ѫ /*oⁿ/ and ѧ /*eⁿ/, for example, пѫть, мѫжь, рѧдъ, мѧсо
Phonematic vowels ъ and ь
Wide pronunciation of ѣ (either /*ja/ or /ɛ/)
Vowel ы
Mutation of the proto-Slavic /*tj/, /*dj/ as шт /ʃt/ (or шч /ʃtʃ/), жд /ʒd/ in words like хоштѫ, виждѫ, etc.
Old Bulgarian shows many common features with stages of development of the other Slavic languages. However, the translations of the Solun brothers show a number of morphological and syntactic features that were typical only for the Bulgarian population of 9th to 11th centuries, mostly word combinations like сестра еи (bg:сестра ӣ, her sister), братъ емоу (bg:брат му, his brother), рѫка ти (bg:ръката ти, your hand) that were not used by other Slavs. The main morphological features of Old Bulgarian are presence of cases, the presence of a variant of the infinitive form called supine form, synthetic adjective comparison forms, past infinite, past finite, and future simple verb tenses, etc.

The Bulgarian character of the language of Cyril and Methodius was scientifically proven as early as 19th century during the emergence of Slavic linguistics on the basis of the above phonetic features.[11] The most important evidence are the above mentioned diphtongs шт and жд that appear in old Bulgarian manuscripts instead of the proto-Slavic palatals *tj and *dj. This is a typical feature only for Bulgarian: all other Slavic languages have other replacements of these proto-Slavic phonemes. Thus, e.g., the proto-Slavic forms свѣт/*tj/а, ме/*dј/а in old manuscripts are written as свѣшта, межда (as they are spoken in modern Bulgarian) unlike the Serbo-Croatian свећа, међа, Russian свеча, межа, Polish swieca, miedza, Czech svice, meze. Moreover, the шт/жд mutation is a feature, characteristic for the whole Bulgarian dialect area. Data from old manuscripts, toponyms, and modern dialects show convincingly that the modern ќ /c/, ѓ /ɟ/ instead of шт, жд, e.g. свеќа, граѓанин for свешта, гражданин in some Western Bulgarian dialects, especially in those from the central and northern part of Vardar Macedonia and also in some Thracian dialects, are a much later phenomenon. It is indicative in this respect that words with old шт, жд are used alongside the new ќ, ѓ in many of these dialects, e.g. свеќа alongside with свештник and мошне. Cf. also веќе, ќи, ќерка, but къшча, свешча, чуждина, прежда, веждите, etc. (Kostur dialect); куйќа, полноќ, помеѓу, нейќит, but рождат, нош, фаштат, свешча, гашчи, чуж, etc. (Resen dialect). In contrast to the great variety of mutations in the modern western Bulgarian dialects, old manuscripts contain only шт, жд forms, irrespective of the region from which they originate. Important in this respect is the comparatively recent Bulgarian-Greek dictionary that was written in the Kostur region in 16th century.[12] The dictionary has only шт, жд forms: кашта, вяжда, рожда.

Another important evidence for the Bulgarian character of the Cyril and Methodius language is the above-mentioned pronunciation of ѣ, which was written in words like хлѣбъ, млѣко, вѣра, etc. Yat (ѣ) was pronounced as /*ja/ or wide е /*e/ which is suggested by the fact that in the glagolithic alphabet invented by Cyril there is only one common letter for ѣ and ѩ. Reliable data show that in 9th-11th century the wide pronunciation of ѣ was spread on the whole language area that included the regions Moesia, Thrace, and Macedonia.[13] As already noted, the former /*ja/ pronunciation of ѣ in the western Bulgarian regions is mainly inferred from old Greek names of some Slavic toponyms in today's Ekavian regions like Πριλιάπος = Прилѣпъ, Πρίσδριανα = Призрѣнъ, Δεάβολις = Дѣволъ, Χτεάτοβο = Хтѣтово, Тетово, Τριάδιτσα = Срѣдьць, etc. Western Bulgarian forms like цадим (OBg:цѣдити), цаним (OBg:цѣнити), цалувам (OBg:цѣловати), цапам (OBg:цѣпити) with a de-palatized (hardened) consonant ц /ts/ in front of the wide vowel /ʲa/ or /e/ are another evidence that the western Bulgarian pronunciation цел, хлеб, место, тесно is a late phenomenon.

A third very characteristic feature of the Cyril-Methodius' language is the peculiar nasal pronunciation of the vowels ѫ /*oⁿ/ and ѧ /*eⁿ/. Pronunciation of these vowels is supposed to has been similar to the French /ɔ̃/ in bon and /ɛ̃/ in bien. This is a typical feature of the 9th to 11th century Bulgarian, with a Slavic analog only in Polish language. That in the past this feature was characteristic for the whole language area is concluded, as already pointed out, again from the archaic Slavic toponymy in Greece, from some phonetic features of the old Slavic loan words in Romanian and Albanian language, from the language of the so-called Cherged prayers, reflecting the speech of old re-settlers from Svishtov region of 16th century. Traces of the old nasal pronunciation are found in forms like зъмби, мънка, пънт, рънка, дъмп, скъмп, крънгове, братученд, глендам, гренда, ерембица, чендо, ендзик, etc. in the speech of re-settlers from Solun, Kostur, Korca, western Aegean, and other regions. Individual cases of nasalism are found in the Rhodopes dialects.

These typical features for Old Bulgarian has been lost or modified as a result of various influences in the course of language evolution but have persisted and are best preserved in southern dialects — Rhodopes, Southern Thrace and Southern Macedonia. Today the wide ѣ pronunciation, replacements шт, жд for the old palatals *tj, *dj, traces of ы, traces of case forms, traces of archaic pronunciation of ѫ and ѧ, the identical pronunciation of ѣ and ѩ (/hlʲab/ or /hlɛb/, /ʲama/ or /ɛma/), the reduction of vowels а, о, е, the mutation of /a/ in /ɛ/ behind fricatives (чаша — чеши), etc., approximate the southern Macedonian dialects with the Thracian and Rhodopes dialects. Solun dialects are of eastern Bulgarian (Rup) type.

Some researchers incorrectly refer to Old Bulgarian as "Old Slavonic" or "Old Church Slavonic".[14] Old Bulgarian is a language of the common people which functioned in a written form to serve in the state, governmental, cultural, ethnic, and linguistic unification of the Bulgarian Slavs. Established in the 9th century, later the language acquired additional functions to serve as an international Slavic language. This fact, by itself, is not a reason to consider Old Bulgarian only as a common Slavic language (koine) but it also explains why later in some Slavic countries another versions and patterns were build on its basis, that reflect the linguistic idiosyncracies of these countries: Russian redaction, Czech-Moravian redaction, Serbian redaction, Croatian redaction.[15] [16] [17]

On the basis of pronunciation of the old yat vowel, Bulgarian dialects are divided into two major dialect groups — western (Ekavian) and eastern (Yakavian). In the north, the border between Ekavian and Yakavian goes along the river Vit, in the south — along river Mesta in a general direction Nikopol-Solun (see map of the Yat border). Archaic pronunciation of wide e occurs in some dialects along the Yat border, in the Rhodopes and some other southern dialects. In general, to the east of the Yat border, the Old Bulgarian vowel ѣ, when stressed, is pronounced as wide vowel /ʲa/ (/mlˈʲako/, /(h)lˈʲap/) while to the west of the Yat border ѣ is pronounced as /ɛ/ (/mlɛko/, /(h)lɛp/). Data from the old manuscripts, some old toponyms, Bulgarian loan words in other Balkan languages, etc., show that the yat division is relatively recent — the first certain cases of ekavism occur in writings of 13th century. The south-western dialects are partly in the Ekavian, and partly in Yakavian areas. The wide pronunciation of ѣ is preserved in some archaic dialects (Solun, Ser (also Syar /sʲar/), Korca). The above mentioned Bulgarian-Greek dictionary[12] written in 16th century in Kostur reflects the old wide yat sound in words like колѩно, невѩста, млѩко.

Middle Bulgarian

In the Middle Bulgarian period − 12th to 14th century – the grammatical structure of Bulgarian language underwent a number of changes and the phonetic system was significantly modified. Relations between Middle and Old Bulgarian are those between two successive stages of the historical development of a single language.[18] [19] [20] The stringent phonetic principle for use of Cyrillic letters was violated because of changes in the pronunciation of some vowels and close imitation of Greek spelling rules. Their use deviated from Old Bulgarian tradition and was dictated by artificial rules (the spelling reform of Patriarch Evtimiy of Tarnovo). The numerous written documents from this period because of the zeal of the scribes to preserve the originals, give a very limited opportunity to follow the precise course of transformation from Old Bulgarian to Middle Bulgarian, from synthetism to analytism in the noun system. In some documents like the Troyan Tale (14th century) changes that occurred in the live language are reflected:
the Yer vowels ъ, ь in a weak position (in front of syllables that do not contain Yer and in the end of words) were no longer pronounced
the nasal vowels ѫ /*oⁿ/ and ѧ /*eⁿ/ behind palatized consonants converged phonetically or fused in a secondary Yer and began to substitute each other
the posterior lingual vowel ы became phonetically equivalent to the anterior lingual vowel и
a general tendency to a harder (depalatinized) pronunciation of consonants became evident
the deconstruction of the case system continued
the use of the definite article increased
some participles disappeared (present active and present passive)
the да-construct developed as a replacement of the infinitive and the supine
the use of the complex form for future tense stabilized, e.g. хъшѫ читати -> щѫ да четѫ -> ще чета


The Bulgarian Exarchate (1870-1912) and the Bulgarian dialect area

All listed and also a number of other changes occurred in parallel with the development of Bulgarian dialects in Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia resulting in the formation of the general structure of modern Bulgarian. These characteristic linguistic features unite all Bulgarian dialects[32] and separate them in a single individual group within the other Slavic languages.
:arrow:

Hatshepsut

05 October 2021, 22:29:14 #1 Last Edit: 05 October 2021, 22:33:04 by Hatshepsut
:arrow:
Modern Bulgarian

The period of formation of Modern Bulgarian − from 15th century till present − is clearly divided in two parts. The longer first part, 15th to end of 18th century, bears the deep marks of the Ottoman rule.[20] At the very start of the 15th century, there was not even a trace left of the former glory of Bulgarian culture, or, for that matter, of anything 'Bulgarian'.[22] The Tarnovo Patriarchy was abolished and Bulgarians were put under the auspices of the Greek Patriarchy at Constantinople; Bulgarian churches, monasteries, schools, and books were destroyed; Bulgarian ethnicity and nationality themselves were abolished as concepts. Peoples in the Ottoman empire were classified on the principle of religion in a system based on the so-called millets. Bulgarians together with other Christians were included in a millet ruled by the Greek Patriarchy. Thus, from the very beginning, Bulgarians were affected by double assimilation: Turkish (the official language of the Ottoman Empire), and Greek (the language of church and school in the Christian millet). Soon the use of Bulgarian language was confined to very close circles: within the family or, at most, within the local village. This disruptive trend continued and even intensified in the 16th and 17th centuries with the mass migrations of various peoples in and out of Bulgaria and forcible Islamisations and Turkifications of large Bulgarian-speaking regions. The language responded to these circumstances with separation into numerous more or less localized dialects. Instead of a single nation-state with a common language, Bulgaria in this period consisted of patches, each speaking a dialect more or less resembling Middle Bulgarian, interspersed with patches, speaking dialects of other languages: Turkish, Greek, Vlach, Albanian, Gagauz, Tatar, Circassian, etc.[23] As in Old Bulgarian, in the earlier Middle and Modern Bulgarian transformations, the dialects of Bulgarians in Thrace, Moesia, and Macedonia Macedonia follow the same trends.
From the end of 16th century to the middle of 19th century, in the Bulgarian lands, an effort was made to create a literary language on the basis of common spoken language through damaskins, collections of texts with a religious and moral content. The name damaskin comes from the Greek bishop and scholar Damaskinos Stouditis whose compendium Treasure (1558) contained 36 hagiographies and moral teachings.[24] The first damaskins were written in Western Bulgaria. They contained only works by Damaskinos Stouditis and were written in literary language of that time that included also elements of the common spoken language. The oldest damaskins (16 to 17 c.) were Rilski, Kostenecki, Elenski, Adzharski.[38] Damaskin literature changed at the end of 17 century. Part of the known works of Damaskinos Stouditis were translated in Modern Bulgarian and were combined with works of other authors. Collections with a mixed content in the common spoken language were compiled, in which works of Damaskinos Stouditis still dominated. In Central Bulgaria (the Balkan and the Middle Mountains) several big and well prepared damaskins were published: Protopopinski, Troyanski, Dryanovski, Koprivshtenski, Tihonravov, etc.[25] In 17th century, damaskins went out of the confines of churches and monasteries to be used by common people. Their content became richer, the language came closer to the living language. The works of Damaskinos Stouditis took a smaller part, and the rest was filled with works of various topics and genres: biographies, teachings, apocryphs, religious tales, novelettes, witty sentences, taken from older Bulgarian compendiums or translated from Modern Greek printed books of 17th century. All works in the damaskins had easy to read content and style and reflected the characteristic traits of various Bulgarian dialects. Some of the more significant damaskins from 18th century were: Pazardzishki (1753), Panteleev, damaskin by Josif the Bearded, damaskin by Pop Puncho from 1796, etc. Damaskins educated Bulgarians to resist attempts for assimilation through Islamization and Turkification by giving a large space to the hagiographies of early Christian martyrs, pointing to moral norms, decrying superstitions. Translators reworked individual words, putting some elements of Bulgarian reality. More famous damaskin writers were Daskal Nedyalko and his son Philip (17th c.), Josif the Bearded, Pop Puncho, Pop Todor Vrachanski, Hieromonach Roman, Nikiphor of Arbanasi, Theophan Rilski (18th c.), Daskal Todor Pirdopski (19th c.), etc.[26]

Damaskin literature was widely distributed in 17-18 centuries to fulfil the needs of Bulgarian readers. It is an important source for linguistic study and an interesting linguistic phenomenon which shows the increasing democratic trends in Bulgarian literature. By their content, damaskins belong to the Medieval literature but with their new elements they show a transition to a new type of literature. In spite of the wide-spread destructionl of Bulgarian books during the Ottoman rule, there are about 200 damaskins preserved today. They are stored in the Bulgarian National Library, the National Church Historical and Archeological Museum in Sofia, the Archive of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Plovdiv National Library, the Rila Monastery. Damaskins are stored in libraries in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Odessa, Belgrade, Bucharest, Ljubljana. Only a small part is published.[27]

The modern Bulgarian literary language formed in the period of the Bulgarian Revival (18th century to 1878) mainly on the basis of dialects from the Central Balkan and Middle Mountain regions and included also some features characteristic for the Western dialects. It is characterised by the following traits:

Instability in the old case system, which resulted in loss of cases in Modern Bulgarian in contrast to all other Slavic languages. For example, the old relation between generative and dative lost its case form and acquired a new form consisting of the preposition на (of, to) and a noun in its general form, cf. майката на детето (the mother of the child instead of the child's mother) and дадох му на детето (I gave to the child instead of I gave the child). Today, traces of old case form are found only in some archaic dialects in the Rhodope, Thrace, Korca.
Development of an article form. A general characteristic of all Bulgarian dialects is the definite article — мъж-ът (-а, -от, -о) (for masculine), жена-та (for feminine), дете-то (for neutral), полета-та (for plural). This specifically Bulgarian feature developed mainly in the Middle Bulgarian period: old forms of the indicative pronoun are added as suffices to the nouns and adjectives. This feature characterizes all Bulgarian dialects and distinguishes them together with the loss of the case system, from all other Slavic languages. In some dialect areas (all northeast and part of the west and south-east) article form acquired only pronouns that had an element т-. Other dialects have the so-called triple article form: articulating consists in adding the pronoun roots т-, с-, н- or т-, в-, н-, some of which indicate near objects, and others indicate more distant objects. Thus, in the Rhodope are found article forms like жената, женаса, женана, and in Tran, Breznik and some dialects from Middle Vardar − жената, женава, женана.
Replacement of the old infinitive and supine forms with a да construct: (хощѫ) ити → (искам) да ида. The infinitive decomposition evolved uniformly in all Bulgarian dialects.
Retention of the simple verb forms for the past tense (past finite and past infinite) in all Bulgarian dialects of Thrace, Moesia and Macedonia.
As repeatedly emphasized in linguistic literature, these are the most important features that highlight the specifics of Bulgarian language. It can be definitely said that a Slavic population, whose language structure is characterized by these four factors is or has been Bulgarian.

Other important characteristics of Modern Bulgarian are:

Phonetic

the 11 Old Bulgarian vowels are reduced to 6 after some vowels in definite positions became phonetically equivalent (ѩ = ѧ, ѫ = ъ, ѧ = e, ѣ = e, ы = и)
the Yer vowels ъ, ь completely disappear in the end of words and in open syllables
the Old Bulgarian Yat vowel acquires a mutation я-е (e.g. лято-летен)
Modern Bulgarian does not differ significantly from Old Bulgarian with respect to number of consonants

Morphological

comparatives and superlatives are formed by the particles по- and най- (по-добър, най-добър)
a new past participle with the suffix -ел is formed, e.g. носел, пиел
a new mood (narrative) is formed for expression of non-observed action and non-witness attitude of the narrator (e.g. пиел, бил пиел, щял бил да пие)
doubling of the direct object, e.g. виде го детето (го виде детето) (he saw (it) the child), каза им на децата (he told (them) the children), etc. In relation to this feature, pronoun constructs of the type мене ме, мене ми, тебе те, тебе ти (e.g. мене ми се спи, тебе те е страх), etc., came into use.
rich temporal and modal verb system: 9 verb tenses and 4 moods. While loss of cases resulted in simplification of the noun system, the verbs not only preserved their former variety of temporal forms (tenses) but acquired new forms, e.g. the so-called renarrative verb forms - "Казват, че написал писмо." ("They say that he has written (vs. he wrote) a letter"). This is a characteristic feature for Bulgarian. The other Slavic languages are characterized with a more complex noun system and a simpler verb system.
an analytic construct for future tense with the particle ще (ше, че, ке, ќе, жъ, зъ, and others) and a definitive verb form, e.g. ще ида, че ида, ќе ида, etc. This construct replaced the old simple future tense (cf. OBg:поидѫ), and also constructs that contained an auxiliary verb and infinitive form (cf. OBg:хощѫ ити).
counting form with suffix -а for plural masculine nouns used at the end of cardinals as a remnant of the old pair number (e.g. два стола (two chairs), три бора (three pines)), as well as retained archaic repeat forms to designate paired objects (e.g. ръце, нозе (hands, legs)).
suffix -ове (-ови) for monosyllabic masculine summative nouns, e.g. кумове, сватове (сватови), etc.
a new verb conjugation with -а element (cf. verbs of type гледам, гледаш, давам, даваш).
formation of possessive pronouns for third person singular and plural from the old generative form of the personal and indicative pronouns него-в, тех-ен, них-ен (них-ни).
Development of the modern Bulgarian language is due to the efforts of the Revivalist poets and writers. Because of the close cultural and historical ties between the Bulgarian and Russian peoples, Modern Bulgarian initially incorporated many traits from the rich and developed Russian language. Until the beginning of 19th century, Russian literary language in its vocabulary and idiomatics was, in fact, one of the high styles of Old Church Slavonic language, which is a Russian redaction of Old Bulgarian. The influence of the Slavonic Church tradition on the early development of Modern Bulgarian served as a bridge between Russian and Bulgarian and facilitated the Russian lexical penetration which enriched the cultural lexic layer of Bulgarian by replacing unnecessary Turkish words, and serving as a model for a modern language structure. The Bulgarian vocabulary was filled and enriched with words from the international culture. Borrowings from other languages came in Bulgarian through Russian or directly from the respective Western European languages. Some puristic tendencies against the excessive and not always reasonable use of borrowings appeared as a reaction to this process. Ivan Bogorov, Nayden Gerov, and later Alexander Teodorov-Balan and Stefan Mladenov made great efforts to preserve the purity of Bulgarian literary language from unnecessary foreign influences and layering. Generally speaking, the Bulgarian purism is moderate.[28] [29]



Ethnographic map of Bulgarians in 1912 at the eve of the Balkan Wars. The map was made by a team of Bulgarian professors in geography, ethnography and history at the University of Sofia under the leadership of Prof. A. Ishirkov [5]

In the period 1878-1944, there were some unification processes aiming to consolidate and stabilize the written and spoken language: correspondence between pronunciation and spelling of verb suffices (e.g. чета, четат = четъ, четът), in palatal consonants in the verb roots (e.g. търпя, търпят = търп'ъ, търп'ът), in the suffices for plural masculine nouns (e.g. селяни, овчари not селяне, овчаре), the articled form of nouns and adjectives (e.g. книгите, градовете, високият, големият, високите, големите), in Yakavism and Ekavism, in the particles -ър, -ъл, -ръ, -лъ (e.g. грък - гърци, мълча - млъкни), etc.[30] [31] In the Standard spoken and written Bulgarian, elements from Western Bulgarian increased their penetration:

use of the present participle is resumed (by the influence of Russian and Old Church Slavonic), e.g. мислещ, търпящ
analytic forms of proper names (на Иван, на Тодор instead of на Ивана, на Тодора)
clear and articulate pronunciation of stressed and unstressed vowels instead of their reduction
use of short pronoun forms ме, те, се
non-mutational pronunciation of etymological я: поляни, селяни, овчари instead of полени, селени, овчери



The spelling reform of 1945 applied more stringently the phonetic principle, freed the spelling from unnecessary traditionalism and placed it closer to the living language. It facilitated learning spelling and pronunciation. Letters without phonetic equivalents were removed (ѣ and ѫ; ъ and ь at the end of words).


References

1. For some of the most important works of this period, see Ivanova K. and S. Nikolova. Celebration of Words. The Golden Century of Bulgarian Literature: Annals, Biographies, Theology, Rhetorics, Poetry (Тържество на Словото. Златният Век на Българската Книжнина: Летописи, жития, богословие, риторика, поезия). Sofia: Agata-A, 1995.

2. The Turks, the Greeks and the Slavons. Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe. By G. Muir Mackenzie and A. P. Irby, London, 1867. With Maps etc. Taken from THE BULGARIANS in their historical, ethnographical and political frontiers (Atlas with 40 maps). Preface by D. RIZOFF, Minister of Bulgaria in Berlin. BERLIN, Königliche Hoflithographie, Hof-Buch- und -Steindruckerei WILHELM GREVE, 1917.ASIN: B000UUZN4S

3. For a detailed ethnography and language characteristic of Bulgarians in Transylvania and Banat, see Balkanski, Todor. Transylvanian (Siebenbürgen) Bulgarians: ethnos, language, ethnonymy, onomastics, prosopographies. (Трансилванските (седмиградските) българи. Етнос. Език. Етнонимия. Ономастика. Просопографии), IK Znak-94, Veliko Tarnovo, 1996; Miletich, Lyubomir. Study of Bulgarians in Siebenbürgen and Banat (Изследвания за българите в Седмиградско и Банат). Nauka i Izkustvo, Sofia, 1987.

4. Mikov, V. Origin and significance of the names of Bulgarian cities, villages, rivers, mountains, and places (Произход и значение на имената на нашите градове, села, реки, планини и места). Sofia, 1943, p. 64.

5. "Petermanns geographischen Mitteilungen" 1915, table 44. Map by a collective of Bulgarian professors led by Prof. Anastas Ishirkov. Taken from THE BULGARIANS in their historical, ethnographical and political frontiers (Atlas with 40 maps). Preface by D. RIZOFF, Minister of Bulgaria in Berlin. BERLIN, Königliche Hoflithographie, Hof-Buch- und -Steindruckerei WILHELM GREVE, 1917. ASIN:B000UUZN4S

6. Б. Цонев, История на българский език, т. I, С., 1919; 1940; т. II, 1934; т. III, 1937.

7. Ст. Младенов, История на българския език. С., 1979.

8. К. Мирчев, Историческа граматика на българския език, С., 1958; 1963; 1978.

9. Max Vasmer (1941). Die Slaven in Griechenland, Mit eine Karte. Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin, 1941 (Zentral Antiquariat der Deutschen Demokratischen Republik, Leipzig 1970).

10. Селищев, Афанасий. Избранные труды, Москва 1968.

11. For details, see V. Jagić, Entstehungsgeschichte der altkirchen-slawischen Sprache, Berlin, 1913.

12. This manuscript, published by C. Gianelli and A. Vaiant is kept in the Vatican Library and has the title Beginning. Bulgarian words and their correspondence with the folk [Greek] language (Ἀρχ(ὴ) ἐν Βουλγαρὶοις ριμὰτον, εἰς κινῆ γλότα ἐρχομἕνη).

13. Evidence for the old Bulgarian character of ѣ is given in van Wijk, N. History of the Old Slavic language (История старославянското языка), Moscow, 1957, pp. 188-189.

14. Младенов, Ст. Понятието ,,български език" и границите на българския език. Брой и разпространение на българите (The term "Bulgarian languge" and boundaries of Bulgarian language. Number and distribution of Bulgarians). In: Младенов, Ст. История на българския език (History of Bulgarian language). Sofia, 1979, 21-22.

15. Mladenov, Stefan. Geschichte der bulgarischen Sprache, Berlin, Leipzig, 1929.

16. Shchepkin, V.M (1899) Treatise on the language in Sava's book (Рассуждение о языке Саввиной книги), St Petersburg, 1899, p. 10

17. Oblak, V. A contribution to Bulgarian grammar (Принос към българската граматика), Ann. Sofia Univ., 9, Sofia, 1894, p. 517

18. van Wijk, N. History of old Slavic language (История старославянското языка), Moscow, 1957, p. 37.

19. Considering the striking individualty of Bulgarian compared with the other Slavic languages outlined on the basis of the above features some non-Bulgarian linguists use also the terms: east-southern Slavic dialects; Balkano-Slavic dialects; Slavic dialects in Northern Greece, Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria; Bulgarian-Macedonian dialects, etc. With such descriptions they indicate the dialects of the whole Bulgarian historical and geographic dialect territory. Although they avoid using explicitly the national designation, in fact, they acknowledge the individuality and unity of Bulgarian language.

20. Г. Д. Попов. Кратък историческа литература. От началото на писмеността до нашето време (Concise literature history. From beginning of writing till present), Солун, 1886. Electronic Edition: EI LiterNet, Varna, 2006, ISBN 954-304-183-0

21. Самуил Бернштейн (1948). Разыскания в области болгарской исторической диалектологии. Том I. Язык валашских грамот XIV-XV веков (Research in Bulgarian historical dialectology. Vol. 1. The language of Walachian certificates from 14-15 cc.). Published by USSR Academy of Sciences (in Russian)

22. Jireček, K. J. (1876) (in German). Geschichte der Bulgaren. Nachdr. d. Ausg. Prag 1876, Hildesheim, New York : Olms 1977. ISBN 3-487-06408-1. http://books.google.com/books?id=VBhThVLpc4MC&pg=PA88&dq=isbn=3487064081&hl= bg&sig=fAZ7WUtHdEDBNEJos4IeObUcFyY.

23. Ethnographie von Makedonien, Geschichtlich-nationaler, spraechlich-statistischer Teil von Prof. Dr. Gustav Weigand, Leipzig, Friedrich Brandstetter, 1924, ASIN: B0018H0Y82,LCCN: 25024383, LC: DR701.M4 W4, OCLC:6692519

24. П. А. Лавров. Дамаскин Студит и сборники его имени "Дамаскины" в южнославянской письменности (Damaskinos Studitis and his namesake compendia "Damaskins" in the south-Slavic writings). Одесса, 1899.

25. Д. Петканова-Тотева. Дамаскините в българската литература (Damaskins in Bulgarian literature). София, 1965.

26. Ев. И. Демина. Тихонравовский дамаскин - болгарский памятник XVII в. Исследование и текст (Tihonravov damaskin: a Bulgarian monument from 17 c.). Part 1-2. Sofia, 1968-1972.

27. Б. Ст. Ангелов. Съвременници на Паисий (Paisiy's contemporaries. Vol. 1-2. Sofia, 1963-1964.

28. П. Динеков. Българската литература през XVII и първата половина на XVIII в. В: История на българската литература в четири тома (Bulgarian literature in the 17th and the first half of 18th centuries In: History of Bulgarian literature in four volumes). Vol. 1. Sofia, 1962.

29. Л. Андрейчин. Основна българска граматика (Basic Bulgarian grammar). Sofia, 1944.

30. Л. Андрейчин. Някои въпроси около възникването и изграждането на българския книжовен език във връзка с историческите условия на нашето Възраждане (Some issues connected with the origin and development of the Bulgarian literary language in the historical circumstances of the Bulgarian Renaissance). Бълг. език (Bulgarian language), No. 4, 1955.

31. Л. Андрейчин. Унификационни процеси в българския книжовен език през първите две десетилетия след Освобождението (Unification processes in the Bulgarian literary language in the first two decades after Liberation). Бълг. език (Bulgarian language), No. 5, 1973.

32. Л. Андрейчин. Единството на българския език в миналото и днес (Unity of Bulgarian language in the past and today). Бълг. език (Bulgarian language), No. 1, 1978.

33. Стойков (Stoykov), Стойко (2002) [1962] (in Bulgarian). Българска диалектология (Bulgarian dialectology). София: Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов". ISBN 9544308466. OCLC 53429452.

Hatshepsut

Borders of Bulgarian language


Source: https://lyudmilantonov.blogspot.com/2011/02/borders-of-bulgarian-language.html

The distribution of Slavic languages may be visualized by a chain of circles that cross and intermingle so that many transitive dialects arise. In this Slavic chain, Bulgarian is the south-most link which is located between Serbian and Russian. Because the interactions between Bulgarian and Serbian, on one hand, and between Bulgarian and Russian, on the other, are not equivalent, the similarities of Bulgarian to Russian and Serbian are not the same. While Bulgarians and Serbs lived very close to each other for a very long time on a long borderline, the connection between Bulgarian and Russian took place on a narrow strip along Dobrudzha which was populated with other foreign peoples and was interrupted by the wide and scarcely populated Danube delta. The relatively large similarity between Bulgarian and Russian can be explained by the former Russian-Bulgarian neighbourship in the old homeland of Bulgars and Bulgarian Slavs and with subsequent loans between Bulgarian and Russian.


A 1865 map of the Balkan Peninsula, showing the track of Via Ignatia [1]

On the basis of linguistic similarities and differences between Slavic languages, one can see that Serbs were not neighbours to Bulgarians in their old abode. Furthermore, comparing the today southern Slavic languages, one can see that even on the Balkan Peninsula, Serbs were not always neighbours to Bulgarians; this is seen by the many phonetic similarities that are found between Bulgarian and Sloveno-Croatian and which are lacking in Serbian. This shows that Serbs came later, penetrated between Bulgarians and Sloveno-Croats and thus interrupted the dialect continuity between southern Slavs.

Territorial borders

In its present state, the Bulgarian language area takes the most important parts of the Balkan Peninsula and for the most part it borders foreign people, and not Slavic ones: Romanians to the north, Turks to the east, Greeks to the south, Albanians to the south-west, and because every one of these peoples defends its state and political doctrines, the ethnographic issues on the Balkans are very complicated. On Bulgarian side, when at issue is distinguishing the Bulgarian language and nationality from others, there isn't and cannot be any controversy, because the difference between Bulgarian and other languages is evident. Every unbiased ethnographer or diplomate will draw the border of the Bulgarian nation to the limit where Bulgarian is spoken. There can be some controversy only about some mixed border villages but this controversy could be easily decided on the basis of an accurate statistic taking into account the majority of the respective population.

It is a different situation with the ethnographic border between Serbs and Bulgarians whereby two similar people of the same tribe touch and interact. Basically, here too, if there is no bias by the two sides, an agreement could be easily reached taking into account the grammatical differences between the two languages; because even though they are very similar and the transitive Bulgarian-Serb dialects are very close, there are scientific criteria that could help clearly distinguish these dialects if there was such good will from the Serbian side as it is from Bulgarian, if Serbian ethnographers and linguists didn't put in this controversy more politics then a true light of science, more animosity than a neighbourly conciliation. Because the claims of the Bulgarian western Slavic neighbours concern not only some controversial border villages as it is usually between neighbours, they concern whole regions that are purely Bulgarian, which the Greater Serb politicians and ethnographers, with pseudoscientific distortions, proclaim for Serbian in order to put a scientific basis for their illegitimate claims. This is why, when delineating the borders of Bulgarian language and nation against the other Balkan peoples, we'll give more detail on the Serbian-Bulgarian language border in order to define it and establish it on a scientific, linguistic, basis.



The ethnography of the Balkan Peninsula is tightly connected to the always hot Macedonian question: everything written about Macedonia concerns directly or indirectly its neighbouring regions and peoples. And because this question is still on the agenda for almost 150 years, the literature about it and about Balkan ethnography comprises numerous papers, books, brochures, maps, and statistics in all languages, and together with them – diplomatic agreements, police measures, occupations, and also four bloody, ruinous wars – always this ominous Macedonian question without a favourable decision; it hangs as a threatening sword over all Balkan peoples and will be a scare until the moment it is fairly decided on the basis of the national principle which was so triumphantly proclaimed but unfortunately often ignored by everybody.

As most directly affected by the Macedonian question, Bulgarians contributed most to its elucidation; during the wars Bulgarian scientists had the opportunity to study directly in the field the western limits of the Bulgarian homeland and to fill their data and evidence for the ethnography of Macedonia and the Morava region. These studies confirmed everything that was before known by Bulgarian scientists about the ethnography of the Balkans and the distinguishing of Bulgarian nationality.

Regardless of the present or future Bulgarian state borders, the borders of the Bulgarian speech and ethnicity are defined as follows.



The eastern border is the Black Sea.

To the north, the language has as a natural border the river Danube that spans the larger part of the Bulgarian-Romanian border. The smaller (land) part of the border starts at the town of Silistra on the Danube and ends at the village of Durankulak on the Black Sea, passing through the region of Dobrudzha and dividing the latter in 2 parts: Northern (Romanian) Dobrudzha and Southern (Bulgarian) Dobrudzha. In the past, a numerous Bulgarian population lived in Romanian (Northern) Dobrudzha but in 1941 according to an agreement between the Bulgarian and Romanian governments, these people were moved to the Bulgarian (Southern) Dobrudzha in the place of re-settled Romanian population. Therefore, the northern border of Bulgarian language is clearly delineated as it separates two different languages: Bulgarian and Romanian.

The southern border of Bulgarian is not clearly defined. The Bulgarian population in the southern parts of Thrace and Macedonia lived for many centuries mixed with other ethnicities, primarily Greeks and Turks, speaking languages, very different from Bulgarian. So, instead of language mixing, these ethnicities remained clearly differentiated on the language basis and, indeed, language became the main ethnic characteristic. A large part of Bulgarians (Grecomans) spoke Greek in public and Bulgarian at home. Islamised Bulgarians (Pomaks) spoke a Bulgarian dialect mixed with Turkish words. And yet, a historical border to the south exists that separates Bulgarians from others. It is the old Roman road Via Ignatia that connects the Adriatic with the Black Sea. For a large part, it goes close to the Aegean coast [1]. North of Via Ignatia Bulgarians predominate while south of it they are in the minority.

In Thrace, the territories on the two sides of Via Ignatia very often changed hands between Bulgarians, Greeks, and Turks but north of it they have been predominantly Bulgarian most of the time, mixed with Greeks, or Turks. Therefore, the border goes from the environs of Istanbul (Tsarigrad) through Chataldzha and Silivria, and then along Via Ignatia goes close to the Aegean (Byalo more) coast to the Struma Estuary and Orphano Bay. Then it crosses the Bogdan Mountain (Beshik-Dag) and through the Lagadina Field (Hortach, Vavro, Kolomenta, Kakavo, and Erisovo [2], pp. 43-44) goes to Solun. From the Solun Bay the border goes upstream along Bistritsa River which it leaves to pass near Kozhani and Shatishta; then again along Bistritsa to Hrupishta.



The border to the west and southwest goes along the approximate line established by Stefan Verković – Serbian folk researcher and ethnograph, and Prof. Afanasiy Selishchev – a great Russian Slavist. Until 15th century, these lands were alternately under Bulgarian and Serbian rule, and then for 5 centuries they were ruled by the Ottomans. The state border was established only in 1878; until then the Serb-Ottoman border went much further to the west [4]. For the western and southern borders of Bulgarian, Verković writes in detail in his works [3] and [2]. The studies of Verković which he did for 30 years, are fully confirmed by other Serbian scientists, such as Milovan Vidaković (1833), Dr. Jovan Subotić (1845), Jovan Gavrilović (1863), Tuminski (1868), А. Hadžić (1870), Vasa Pelagić (1879), Alexandar Belić (1906) and others. More specific data about the south-western border are found in the comprehensive study of Prof. Selishchev [5]. It is worth noting that much the same border to the west was drawn by Krste Misirkov in his study [6].

The southwestern border goes south of the region of Kostur (Kostenaria), along the mountain ranges Gorusha and Gramos and then turns to the east from the village Slimitsa (Slimnitsa) and further to the north to the Bulgarian village Lobanitsa towards the Bulgaro-Albanian settlement Biglishta. Therefrom the border goes to the northwest which leaves to the east the Bulgarian villages Rakitska, Zərnovsko, Leska, Pustets, Glombochitsa, Podbuche, along the south shore of the Ohrid Lake, to the Bulgarian monastery "St. Naum" and the village of Lin.

To the west of this line are Albanian settlements except two neighbouring villages, Drenovo and Boboshchitsa, that are Bulgarian. Some Bulgarian families lived at the turn of 19th c. in other Korcha villages: Sovyani, Sinitsa, Pirg, Rambets, Bulgarets, Hotishta, Bratovitsa. In the town of Korcha itself, there was a Bulgarian population in 2 neighbourhoods. Old men in several now Albanian villages still remember the former Bulgarian language. The population to the west of Ohrid lake is Albanian. Bulgarian population at the beginning of 20th c. lived only in some northwestern villages: Lin, Raytsa, Radozhda, Vlahtsi, Kalishta, Radolishta.

From Struga, the border goes near the west shore of Ohrid Lake through Yablanitsa Mountain, passes through the Bulgarian Muslim villages to the west of Drin: Steblevo, Borovo, Sebishte, Kosovets, Tərnovo. West of this line are the Albanian village Zaradchani and the Bulgarian villages Upper and Lower Belitsa [7], p. 48. Veleshta became primarily Albanian village by 1920s. The Bulgarian villages Vranishta, Oktisi, Vehchani (Vevchani), Podgortsi, Borovets, Yablanitsa (some Albanians) are to the east of the border. Here is the northern part of Yablanitsa ridge. The border then goes to the northwest along the Golobrdo ridge. At the turn of 19th c. here Bulgarian border villages were Borova, Sebishte, Tərnovo, Leshnichan, Torbachi. [8] Borovo, as well as Kosovets and Torbachi north of it are mentioned as Albanian, and Sebishte – as mixed Bulgarian-Albanian in 1916. [9]

At the village Torbachi the border crosses to the other side of Drin River, leaving to the east the Bulgarian-Albanian town Debər and the Bulgarian village of Sushitsa and goes along Drin to the north. A number of villages on Drin are Albanian: Konyari, Solokiki, Spas, Rashani, Blato, Maytar, Chernene, Voynik, Chanka, Kovachitsa. The next village to the north on the Drin – Deolani (Dovolani) – is Bulgarian-Albanian. From here, at Kenok Hill, the border turns to the east to the Bulgarian Muslim village Zhernonitsa and further to the Mavrovi Inns (in the region of the village Mavrovo). In one village to the northwest of the border – Brizhdan (Brzhdan) on Drin – there were 4 Bulgarians (9 Walachians, 40 Gypsies, and 1008 Albanians) in 1916-1918 [10] and a quarter of this village bears the Slavic name Domazetay. In 1860s, in another village close by – Melan / Melia north of Deolani – there was a Bulgarian population. [7], II, p. 37-38 Villages ustream along Radika (Gorna Reka) were Albanian by the beginning of 20th c.

From Mavrovi Inns, the western border of the Bulgarian linguistic area goes to Rudoka Mountain, to the Vratsa Pass and to the villages of Prizrenska Gora, situated between Shar Mountain, Rudoka Mountain and Koritnik. The Slavic population of Gora was forced to change its religion from Christianity to Islam but the traditional Bulgarian language was preserved in many villages and their population. The traits in this language is similar to those in the southwestern Bulgarian dialects spoken in western Macedonia. The common religion asserted a strong Albanian influence on the Gora Bulgarians which, like other Bulgarians in western Macedonia, do not object to being called Albanians. They were registered as Albanians at the time of the Austrian occupation in 1916-1918. [9], p. 54-56 In some families and villages in Gora, the Slavic speech was completely disused and was replaced by Albanian. The attempts of the Serbian government to open schools in some villages in Gorna Reka were unsuccessful; by 1929 no teacher remained there. [11]

From Gora the border goes to the north-east through the Shar Mountain, from its peak Lyuboten and then to the east, north of the Bulgarian village Rogachevo, north of Rogach ridge to Dervent in Polog near Vardar and further to the north-east to Skopian Montenegro. In this region, the Albanian ethnicity predominates, and the Bulgarian element is preserved in islands of Bulgarian Muslim (torbesh) villages. The villages of the Prizren Opolya are all Albanian. There are many Albanian villages in other Prizren zhups (districts). Only the following villages near Prizren are Slavic: Vrbichane, Novoselyane, Seltse (Sevtse), Vrbeshtitsa, Yazhintse, Shtrptse, Berevtse, Gotovusha, Sredska, Zhivinyane; the other villages are either mixed or completely Albano-Muslim. In the Bulgarian Muslim dialects, *tj, *dj is reflexed in кь, гь but ѫ is reflexed in ъ, ъ and ь are reflexed in o and e, there is a triple definite article, etc., which are the typical Bulgarian dialects of Shar and Koritnik Mountains. The Slavic langauge of the population in the Prizren zhups Sredska and Sirinich incorporates elements of 2 Slavic languages: Bulgarian and Serbian. Bulgarian elements come from Slavs who in old times lived north and north-west of Prizren: Slavic toponyms are evidence for this. Thus, there are words with zhd, sht instead of Proto-Slavic *dj, *tj, *-kt' (Grazhdenik, Obrazhda, Lyubizhda, Selograzhde, Chrpyoglazhde, Torazhda, Spənozheshtani, Nebregoshte, Dobrushta), words with -ets instead of earlier -ьць (Nashets, Tupets, etc.).

In addition to these linguistic data, we can note the ethnographic observations of A. Haberlandt in the Prizren area. The houses around Prizren have clearly eastern aspect (brick buildings); village houses are situated terrace-like on the hill slopes; many of them are surrounded by huge stone walls. Gardens have very Bulgarian character, and field-guarding is in south-eastern manner. Folk costumes are different in colour, decorations, and partly in their elements. On this basis, without doubt the bulk of population in the direction Mitrovitsa-Pech originates from newer settlers with ethnicity different from that in southern Metochia. The first belongs to Serbian nationality while the second has older character which is close to the Bulgarians from Macedonia [12].

To the west of the above southwestern limits of the Bulgarian linguistic area there were no Bulgarian settlements in the 20th c. except those mentioned above in the Korcha region and 4 Bulgarians in the village of Brizhdan in Lower Debar, near Peshkopia. But to the east of the border line, in western Macedonia, there are many Albanian settlements. Here, the Albanians do not inhabit compact terrritory: either their villages are on Bulgarian territory or Albanians take part of a Bulgarian village. Statistical data of 1912-1913 show that there were 194 195 Albanians in Macedonia (1 103 111 Bulgarians, 548 225 Turks, 267 862 Greeks, 79 401 Walachians, 43 370 Gypsies, 106 360 others). Most Albanians were settled in the western and northern Macedonia: 43 230 near Polog (Tetovo and Gostivar regions), 33 375 near Debar, 14 400 near Bitolya, 13 240 near Skopie, 20 000 near Preshevo [13].

From Prizren district the border goes in a generally northern direction through Kopaonik and Yastrebəts Mountains to Krushevəts and Morava River. Along the western shore of Morava the border goes as far north as the rivers Sava and Danube where it closes the Bulgarian linguistic territory.

In the borders so delineated, there are foreign populations: Albanians, Turks, Greek, as well as Turkified, Hellenised, or Serbianized Bulgarians but as long as there is a language with the traits characteristic for Bulgarian language, it is strictly Bulgarian, different from all other languages.
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Hatshepsut

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Bulgaro-Serbian linguistic borders

Phonetic

The Old Bulgarian ѫ gives in Bulgarian ъ while in Serbian it gives y:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
дъб              дуб        oak
зъб              зуб        tooth
мъка            мука      sadness
ръка            рука      hand 
тъга            туга      sorrow

   
The Old Bulgarian *tj, *dj combinations give in Bulgarian щ and жд, and in Serbian – ћ and ђ:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
среща          срећа      meeting   
плащам          плаћам    to pay
плещи          плеће      shoulders
межда          међа      border 
раждам          рађам      to bear (child)   


The Old Bulgarian ъ and ь in Bulgarian are assimilated only in root syllables into a dark ъ, but in suffix syllables are separated and are pronounced as ъ and е while in Serbian they are pronounced only as а:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
бъз            баз      elder
бъчва          бачва    barrel
тънък          танак    thin
тъмен          таман    dark
остен          остан    goad   


The Old Bulgarian лъ in the middle of syllables in Bulgarian remains unchanged as -лъ- or becomes its metathesis -ъл-, while in Serbian it mutates into -у-:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
тлъсто          тусто    fatty
сълза          суза      tear
вълк            вук      wolf
бълха          бува      flea
вълна          вуна      wool   



The consonant л at the end of syllables is present in Bulgarian as the sound /l/ while in Serbian it changes to the vowel o:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
крилце          криоце      winglet
пепел            пепео        ashes
бил              био          been
смял се          смео се      laughed 
работилница      радионица    workshop   


The palatal (soft) љ (ль) is not found in Bulgarian while in Serbian it is present:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
избавен        избављен    saved
купен          купљен      bought
снопи          снопље      sheaves
коноп          конопље    hemp
Скопие            Скопље      Skopie


Voiced consonants at the end of words in Bulgarian change to the respective voiceless consonants while in Serbian they remain voiced:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
боп            боб      beans
дъп            дъб      oak
рок            рог      horn
бряк          брег    shore
рет            ред    order


Vowel reduction is found often in Bulgarian, especially in Bulgarian dialects while in Serbian there is no vowel reduction:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
тъка          тако      so
селу          село      village
малку          мало      little
чите          чете      he reads
тъ          те        you


The Old Bulgarian sound дз /ʣ/ is retained in Bulgarian, especially in Bulgarian dialects while in Serbian it is replaced by з /z/:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
дзвизка        звиска    ewe
дзифт          зифт      bitumen   
дзвезда (dial)  звезда    star
дзид (dial)    зид      wall
дзвон (dial)    зван      ringing   


The stress in Bulgarian is retained at the same place as in Old Bulgarian while in Serbian it is shifted:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
водà            вòда          water
завòд          зàвод        institute
парѝ            пàра          money
благодаря̀      благòдарим    to thank
не знàм            нè знам      I don't know   


The stress in Bulgarian does not change the length of the stressed vowel while in Serbian stress prolongs or shortens the vowel:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
полèка            полāко        easy
предприя̀тие      предузēће      enterprise
интерèсен        интересāнтан  interesting
фантастѝчно      фантāстично    fantastic
рождèн дèн        рòђендāн      birthday   


Morphological

The main differences between Bulgarian and Serbian are morphological. The first three points refer to the main characteristic traits of Bulgarian while the first five points make Bulgarian analytic language compared to Serbian (and other Slavic languages) which is synthetic language.

Bulgarian lost the old case forms in nouns, adjectives, and adverbs (some cases retained only in pronouns) while Serbian retained all cases:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
мъжа          мужу (accusat.)    man
мъжа          мужа (genitive)    man
мъжа          мужи (dative)      man
мъжа          мужом (instr.)    man
мъжа          муже (prepos.)    man   


Bulgarian developed a postfixed article form while Serbian does not use articles:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
снегът          снег      the snow
реката          реке      the river
морето          мора      the sea
човека          човек    the man 
книгата            књиге    the book


Bulgarian does not have an infinitive form while Serbian has retained the old infinitive form:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
да работя      радити      to work
да дойда        дођи        to come 
да донеса      донети      to bring
да отида        пођи        to go
да прочета      прочитати    to read   



The comparative degree in Bulgarian is formed with the particles по- and най- while in Serbian it is formed by suffixes or by words with different roots (synthetic):

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
по-слаб          слабиjи        weaker
по-добър        бољи            better
по-лек          лакши          lighter
най-красив      наjлепши        the most beautiful
най-щастлив      наjсрећниjи    the happiest   


The future tense in Bulgarian is formed analytically with the auxilliary particle ще which does not change while in Serbian it is done either with a conjugated auxilliary particle or with a sufficial construction (synthetically):

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
ще чета        ћу читати, читаћу        I'll read
ще четеш        ћеш читати, читаћеш      you'll read 
ще чете        ће читати, читаће        he'll read
ще четем        ћемо читати, читаћемо    we'll read
ще четете      ћете читати, читаћете    you'll read   


The plural in some masculine nouns is formed with suffix -ове or -е in Bulgarian and with suffix -ови, -еви in Serbian:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
домове        станови    homes
снегове        снегови    snows
брегове        брегови    shores
коне          коњи      horses
царе          цареви      kings


The plural adjectives do not have a gender suffix in Bulgarian while in Serbian these have gender suffix:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
добри хора      добри људи      good people
добри жени      добре жене      good women
добри села      добра села      good villages
стари книги    старе књиге      old books
стари другари  стари другови    old friends   


Verbs in first person plural end in -м or -ме in Bulgarian and in -мо in Serbian:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
плетем          плетемо    we knit
питаме          питамо      we ask 
ходим          идемо      we go
мием            перемо      we wash
четем          читамо        we read


Verbs in third person plural end in the old suffix -т in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is lacking:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
плетат        плету      they knit
питат          питаjу    they ask 
ходят          иду        they go
мият          перу      they wash
четат          читаjу      they read


Verbs in second person plural past tense end in the suffix -хте in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is -сте:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
плетохте      плетосте    you knitted
питахте        питасте    you asked
ходихте        идосте      you went
миехте        перасте    you washed
четохте          читасте    you read


Verbs in third person plural past finite tense end in the suffix -ха in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix is -ше:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
плетоха        плетоше    they knitted
питаха        питаше      they asked
ходиха        идоше      they went
миеха          пераше      they washed
четоха          читаше      they read


In verbs that in Old Bulgarian ended in -оватн the letter о changed to у in Bulgarian while in Serbian this suffix retained its о:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
купувах        куповах      I bought
купуван        купован      bought
купуване      куповање    buying
пътувах        путовах      I travelled
пътуване      путовање        travel


Imperative mood is equalised by the hard base in Bulgarian and by the soft base in Serbian:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
плетете        плетите    knit
молете        молите    ask
перете        перите    wash
бъдете        будите    be
идете          одите      go


Generative case in pronouns in Bulgarian ends in -го while in Serbian ends in -га:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
кого          кога      whom
никого        никога    nobody
някого        некога    somebody
всекиго        свакога    everybody
го          га        him


Dative and accusative cases plural in pronouns ни, ви are the same in Bulgarian while in Serbian they have different forms: нама, вама (dative); нас, вас (accusative)


Bulgarian uses abbreviated personal pronouns мен, теб while Serbian lacks them


Vocative case in female personal nouns ending in -ка in Bulgarian has the suffix -ке while in Serbian they have suffix -ко: bg: Боянке – sr: Боjанко


Sintactic

Bulgarian has analytic relational expressions while Serbian has syntetic expressions – case forms:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
Казах на жената    Рекао сам жени    I told the woman
Бeше с куче        Био jе са псом    He was with a dog
Влиза в морето      Улази у море      Goes into the sea
Гледа земя          Гледа земљу        Looks at land 
Даде го на майка    Дао je маjци      Gave to mother   


In Bulgarian there is doubling of personal pronouns while in Serbian there is no such doubling:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
мене ме        мени    me
тебе те        теби    you
него го        њега    him
нея я          њoj      her
нас ни          нама    us


In comparisons Bulgarian uses accusative case when it is possible (in pronouns) while Serbian uses nominative case; also, in comparisons Bulgarian uses the preposition от, while Serbian uses the preposition него:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
голям като мене    велики како jа      as big as me
висок като него    висок колико он      as tall as you
по-нисък от нея    нижи него она        shorter than her
по-силен от мен    снажниjи него jа    stronger than me
по-голям от теб        већи него ти        bigger than you


Bulgarian uses very often the definitive forms of past tense (past finite and past infinite) while in Serbian past definitive forms are used very infrequently and they are replaced by past indefinite:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
потъна        утонуо je    he sank
потъваше      тонуо jе      he was sinking
работих        радио сам    I worked
четох          чео сам      I read /red/
четях          читао сам    I was reading


Bulgarian very often omits the conjunction да either in futture tense constructions or elsewhere while Serbian keeps this conjunction:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
той ще дойде    он ће да дође    he'll come
аз ще кажа      jа ћу да кажем    I'll say
ще вали          ће да прати      it'll rain/snow
бих казал        хоћу да кажем    I'd say
не съм знаел    ни да сам знао    I wouldn't know


Bulgarian often omits the singular and plural auxiliary verb for third person (e and са) while in Serbian omission of this verb is very rare:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
било (e) късно      било ϳе касно        it was late
не (e) наред        ниϳе у реду          it's not ok 
колко (е) важно?    колико ϳе важно?    how important?
щели (са) да        хтели су да          they'd ...
какво (са) чели?    шта су читали?      what'd they read?


Bulgarian uses the past finite form of the verb бъда (to be) – бе/беше (was/were), while in Serbian there is no such use:

Bulgarian    Serbian    English
той си бе дошъл    био jе дошао      he had come
тя не бе казала    ниϳе била рекла    she hadn't said
беше късно          било ϳе касно      it was late
не беше лошо        ниϳе било лоше    it wasn't bad
що беше това?      шта ϳе било ово?  what was this?   



References

1. The Turks, the Greeks and the Slavons. Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe. By G. Muir Mackenzie and A. P. Irby, London, 1867. With Maps etc.

2. Stefan Verković, Описание быта македонских болгар; Топографическо-этнографический очерк Македонии (Description of the life of Macedonian Bulgarians. Topographic and ethnographic essay of Macedonia), St. Petersburg, 1889.

3. Stefan Verković. Народне песме македонских бугара (Folk songs of Macedonian Bulgarians), Belgrade, 1860.

4. Младенов, Ст. Граници на българската реч и държава в миналото и днес (Borders of Bulgarian language and state in the past and today). Родна реч, 1927, Issue 1, 16-23.

5. Афанасий Селищев. Днешната югозападна граница на българската говорна област (Present south-western border of the Bulgarian dialect area), Македонски преглед (Macedonian Review), 7:1, 1930

6. Кръсте Мисирков. Към въпроса за пограничната линия между българския и сърбо-хърватския езици (On the borderline between Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian languages), Българска сбирка (Bulgarian collection), 17: 1-2, 1910/11, p. 100

7. Hahn, Reіse durch dіe Gebіete des Drіn und Wardar. II. 1863. Denkschr. d. Ak. d. Wissensch. Phіl.-hіst. Cl., Bd. 16, Wіen. 1869

8. проф. Йорд. Иванов, Българо-албанската етнична граница (Bulgaro-Albanian ethnic border), Македонски преглед (Macedonian Review) I, 4:46, 1925

9. St. Mladenov, Bemerkungen über dіe albaner und das Albanіsche іn Nordmakedonіen und Altserbіen. Balkan-Archіv, I, 1925, p. 66.

10. Fr. Seіner, Ergebnіsse der Volkszählung іn Albanіen іn dem von den oesterr.-ungar. Truppen 1916-1918 besetzen Gebіete. Schrіften der balkankommіssіon. Lіnguіst. Abteіlung. XIII. 1922, р. 50.

11. С. Милосављевић, Просветне прилике Горње Реке. Jужни преглед, IV, № 2. Скопље. 1929, р. 70.

12. Arthur Haberlandt, Kulturwіssenschaftlіsche Beіträge zur Volkskunde von Montenegro, Albanіen und Serbіen, Wіen, 1917, р. 157.

13. J. Ivanoff, La Questіon macedonіenne. Parіs. 1920, р. 187; Й. Иванов. Българетѣ въ Македония. София. 1915, р. CII-CIV.

Hatshepsut

07 October 2021, 14:32:11 #4 Last Edit: 07 October 2021, 14:33:42 by Hatshepsut
Transitional dialects

Source: http://lyudmilantonov.blogspot.com/2011/07/transitional-dialects.html

Transitional dialects are spread about the two sides of today's Bulgarian-Serb border and are a gradual transition between Bulgarian and Serbian languages. Bulgarian are those dialects that were spoken inside the borders of Bulgaria before 1918, namely the dialects around Belogradchik, western of Berkovitsa, around Tsaribrod, Trən, Breznik, and Bosilegrad, known as Belogradchik-Trən dialect. Serbian are the dialects west of the border around Knjaževac, Pirot, Leskovac, and Vranja.
Transitional dialects between pure Bulgarian and pure Serbian contain traits from the two languages. From Bulgarian side, the beginning of these transitional dialects is in the settlements where the old nasal ѫ (Big Yus) is pronounced as у (u) so we have рука, мука instead of ръка, мъка or рака, мака. This pronunciation of ѫ as у is the main phonetic difference of these dialects compared to the standard Bulgarian, so they were called у-dialects [3].



These transitional or у-dialects from the Serbian side begin west of Morava along the line Smederevo, Kraguevəts, Trəstenik, Kurshumli, Prishtina, Prizren. From Bulgarian side they start along the line Belogradchik, Tsaribrod, Breznik, Bosilegrad, and 6 northern regions in Macedonia: Tetovo, Kumanovo, Preshovo, Gilyano, Kratovo, and Palanka. A small separate island of these dialects exist in Caraş-Severin County in Romania and there its speakers are called Krashovani and ethnically identify as Croats or Bulgarians. Speakers on the main territory are ethnically Bulgarians or Serbs. To the east and south of these regions are pure Bulgarian dialects, in which the regular substitution of ѫ is ъ, а or o while у is an exception.

The old population of Morava Valley (so-called Moravians) migrated along the military border with the Austrian Empire as early as 17-18 c. while the bulk of the old Bulgarian population was expeled from Belgrade Region after the capture of Belgrade in 1521. The regions along the Morava and Danube valleys remained very scarcely populated after the Ottoman conquest in 15-16 c. After the Karposh and Chiprovtsi uprisings, these regions were again populated mainly by Bulgarians coming from south and east. Walachians moved in the northern parts, in Mlava and Pecs valleys, and Kladovo. The Russian linguist Afanasiy Selishchev noted that Timok Walachians in Branichevo Region retained the old local toponymy which is of Bulgar, and not Serb, origin.

Three empires that existed on the Balkan Peninsula: Byzantine Empire, First Bulgarian Empire, and Ottoman Empire, had their influence on forming transitional dialects between Serbian and Bulgarian. The historical and ethnographic aspects of this issue were worked out in detail by three Bulgarian authors: A. Ishirkov [86], S. Chilingirov [87], and G. Zanetov [88] [89] [90], while the linguistic aspects were first elucidated by B. Tsonev [3]

This border area has been included alternatively in Bulgaria or Serbia until 15th century, and after this until 1878 has been united politically, administratively, and economically. In the transitive dialects, there are traces of relationships that today do not exist. Generally speaking, these transitive dialects have a number of phonetic and other grammatical traits, some of which connect them with the Bulgarian, and others with the Serbian language system. It must be stressed, however, that in the main grammatical traits, transitive dialects are closer to Bulgarian than to Serbian, which is evidenced by the Bulgarian origin of the population. Serbian dialectologists, however, allege the opposite. They call these dialects "Torlakian dialects", and not transitive dialects, and allege that they are Serbian in their basis, in their primary traits. According to them, traits that are typically Bulgarian, such as the postfixed article, degraded case, analytical comparative degrees, etc. are not even due to Bulgarian influence but are some abstract "Balkanisms" which assumedly arose from assimilated Roman population. All other isoglosses which connect these dialects with the Bulgarian language system, according to Serbian dialectologists were chronologically secondary, much later. The only novel concept which they accepted in more recent time is that the issues about development and affiliations of these dialects shouldn't be linked to issues of ethnicity of their carriers.

The classification of the у-dialects to Bulgarian or Serbian language is not only linguistic but also a political problem. The codifier of the modern Serbian language Vuk Karađić as early as 19 c. wrote about the "torlakian dialect" in his Serbian Dictionary:

"Torlak is a person who speaks neither pure Serbian nor pure Bulgarian" [91]
Some of the Serbian linguists classify the у-dialects as a separate dialect, different from the other dialects of Serbo-Croatian (Štokavian, Čakavian, Kajkavian, etc.). Other Serbian linguists, as Milan Rešetar, Pavle Ivić, and Dalibor Brozović classify у-dialects as an old Štokavian dialect and name it Kosovo-Resavian dialect or Prizren-Timok dialect because some subdialects use the word що for 'what' (however, this is characteristic also for the Bulgarian dialects in today Bulgaria and Macedonia). On the other hand, some groups y-subdialects use the words кво, кикво or ко for 'what' (cf. the Standard Bulgarian какво).

Bulgarian linguists refer to the y-dialect area in Serbia and Kosovo as Prizren-Timok dialect or Kosovo-Morava dialect. For the territory of Bulgaria and the Western Borderland they use the name Belogradchik-Trən dialect (Rangel Bozhkov et al.) with Belogradchik, Trən, Godech, Breznik, Tsaribrod, Bosilegrad, etc., subdialects.

Stefan Mladenov defined these dialects as Transitional y-dialects that are a transition from Bulgarian to Serbian language but still Bulgarian for the bulk of their traits.

Krste Misirkov defined the western border of the y-dialects in this way:

"This is the line that begins on the right bank of the river Sava, goes to the south along the watershed of Kolubara and Morava, then along the watershed of Serbian Morava and Ibar towards Shkodra and the Adriatic."
According to Professors Benyo Tsonev and Gavril Zanetov who studied these dialects during the First World War when almost all Morava Valley was part of Bulgaria, the dialect continuum includes also the Požarevac (Pozharevəts) Region with the whole valley of river Great Morava (Common Morava), including Kruševac (Krushevəts), Smederevo, the region of Levoch, and the other left tributaries of Great Morava (only the lower reaches in the Lower Morava basin). For this reason the older Serbian authors call the Kosovo-Morava dialect – levachki (left) dialect.



Stoyko Stoykov called these dialects "transitional dialects" and thought that they shape a "gradual transition from Bulgarian to Serbian language" and the border between these languages is the state border before 1918, i.e. the subdialects Trən, Breznik, Belogradchik, Western Berkovitsa, Tsaribrod, and Bosilegrad are Bulgarian, while Knjaževac, Pirot, Leskovac, and Vranja are Serbian [1]; however, when writing this Prof. Stoykov worked in the circumstance of a totalitarian communist regime with censure in Bulgaria. According to Stoykov:

"The dialects along the western Bulgarian border, so-called 'transitional dialects', became an object of the Greater Bulgarian and Greater Serbian jingoism. Bulgarian and Serbian politicians tried through dialectology to prove that the dialects in the border area are pure Bulgarian or pure Serbian. Bulgarian linguists drew the border of Bulgarian language far to the west — from the Timok Estuary through Zaecar, Bolevac, Stalac, Pristina to Prizren. Serbian linguists placed the eastern border of Serbian language at Iskar River or even at the Yat border [1]."
From the Serbian side, the beginning of these transitional dialects is where traits characteristic for Bulgarian language begin: degradation of cases, archaic stress, lack of quantitet, lack of infinitive and of the old comparative degrees, retention of the old middle and end лъ and the more frequent use of definitive verb forms.



The continuation of these у-dialects to north and west through Pirot and Nish regions through the whole Morava Valley, as well as through Prishtina and Prizren regions comprises a single dialect entity which is different from both Serbian and Bulgarian by the common trait of Yer fusion: the two Yers (ъ, Big Yer and ь, Small Yer) are pronounced in the same way as one darkened sound schwa – ъ [ə]:

Transitional dialect    Old Bulgarian    English
дън                    дьнь            day
дънъс                  дьньсъ          today
лък                    лькъ            easy
лъко                    лько            easily
лъсън                  льсьнъ          facile
опънък                  опьнькъ        opinək (raw-hide shoe)
орълът                  орьлътъ        the eagle
съга                    сьга            now
тъмън                  тѫмьнъ            dark


Because this common trait of the transitional dialects spreads southwards through Kosovo Field, and to the north goes through the whole course of Morava, Tsonev [3] named them Kosovo-Morava dialects. Serbian dialectologists, such as Cvijić, true to their habit of inventing nationalities, call these dialects "torlak dialects" or "shop dialects" on the bases of the nickname of the population from these regions. No conclusions can be made only on the names "shops" and "torlaks" as these are very vague. It remains an open question if this population reflects some non-Slavic ethnicity. Based on the specific customs of this population, there is some reason to assume a foreign origin; however, in their language there is nothing that cannot be explained with reference to Bulgarian or Serbian: these dialects, although spread on a large area, didn't produce any individual traits. This, however, still doesn't mean that together they cannot be considered as a separate dialect. The reason that they were not completely assimilated into Bulgarian or Serbian was that throughout history they were on the border between Bulgaria and Serbia, and therefore they underwent a constant influence from east and west.

This relates to all Morava dialects, including Timok-Luzhica dialect, which A. Belić tried to present as free from all influences. The influence from east and south (from Bulgarian) has always been much greater than from the west (from Serbian). Exactly because of the strong influence from Bulgarian, Kosovo-Morava region is different from the Serbian nationality and language. Prof. Cvijić noticed very well this specificity; however, his explanation was wide off the mark. He saw in the Kosovo-Morava region a specific cultural belt, different from the Serbian culture, and because he didn't wish to admit that this non-Serbian culture is a continuation from Bulgarian side, he called the Kosovo-Morava cultural belt Byzanthine-Tsintsar, different from the Serbian cultural belt which he called 'patriarchal'. It is much more natural to accept the obvious, knowing (as Cvijić knew) that the larger part of the population in the Kosovo-Morava region came from south and east. For the Morava region, Cvijić himself wrote: "Most of the immigrants came from Kosovo and Macedonia", and for the Timok region, he wrote: " ... has immigrants from different regions of today Bulgaria, mainly from Znepole, Zagora, Berkovitsa, Vidin, and Lom". Of course, these "immigrants" from south and east came with their southern and eastern culture, and whatever they called it, it was a Bulgarian culture, because it came from Bulgarian regions. Furthermore, in all probability the original Slavic population in the Kosovo-Morava region has been Bulgarian from very early time, and alhough it has been dispersed many times for the last 300 years, it remained Bulgarian, because after each dispersal the empty places were again occupied by immigrants from Bulgarian regions. That this population was Bulgarian even 300 years ago, one can see from the many written documents, written in the Kosovo-Morava region for the past 500 years. As concerns Morava region, in addition to written documents, much evidence is given by European travellers all of whom accept River Morava as the border between Serbia and Bulgaria because they well noticed that beyond this river another population starts that is different from Serbs by language and customs.

According to the regions that they occupy, Kosovo-Morava dialects are clearly separated in half to northern and southern. Northern, or Moravan, are the dialects in Vrana, Leskovac, and Nish regions, and along Morava; southern, or Kosovan, are the dialects in Prishtina, Prizren, Tetovo, Kumanovo, and partly Kratovo regions. However, it must be stressed that this division is more geographic than dialectal, because in the Kosovo-Morava region, although it is large, dialect differences are very small and there is no dialect separation . The single more significant difference is the reflex of the Proto-Slavic *tj and *dj by which there are two well-defined dialect groups:

dialects with fricative *tj,*dj reflex or ч-дж dialects (with pronunciation свеча, меджа – candle, border) and
dialects with guttural *tj,*dj reflex or кь-гь dialects (with pronunciation свекьа, мегьа (свекя, мегя).
The first group occupy the eastern part of the Kosovo-Morava area: Bosilegrad, Breznik, Trən, Tsaribrod, Belogradchik, Pirot, Knjaževac, and Bela Palanka, and the second group which is much larger occupies the rest of the transitional dialect area. While the first group is very homogeneous as regards the use of ч-дж, the second group shows some variability in this respect, because in addition to кь-гь, one finds especially in towns the Serbian ћ-ђ (свећа, међа), and also the original pronunciation of *tj,*dj (светьа, медьа / светя, медя). Still, the guttural кь-гь predominates.

The first group is contiguous to the north-western Bulgarian dialects while the second group is contiguous to the south-western Bulgarian dialects that are spoken in Macedonia. Bulgarian traits predominate in both groups; therefore, those are predominantly Bulgarian dialects with very small Serbian admixture.

Still, these dialects are transitional, because they are a transition from Bulgarian to Serbian and vice versa. These dialects are as much transitional between Bulgarian and Serbian as, e.g., Belorussian is a transition from Russian to Polish, or Croatian is a transition from Serbian to Slovenian. Two long-time neighbouring languages – especially two related languages – are never sharply separated so that transition is abrupt; there is always a transitional environment, an intervening belt, which contains a mixture of both languages.

The origin of the population of Morava region indicates the type of speech there. Excepting the Walachians who rather densely populate the nortern part of Morava, above the line Zaječar – Bolevac – Kyupria, the rest of the Slavic population in Morava region consists of old and new immigrants. The old immigrants came from the south-east, i.e. from Macedonia and from western Bulgaria in the last 300 years when Bulgarians were often forced to escape from the Turkish attrocities towards freer lands. The new immigrants came from the north-west as clerks and officials of Serbian authorities after Morava region came into the Serbian state. Thus, in Morava region two Slavic languages, Bulgarian and Serbian, met and clashed and inevitably produced a dialect with characteristics of both languages. The problem is how much this dialect, which is primarily Bulgarian, reflect Serbian traits, and whether these Serbisms allow it to be separated from the other Bulgarian dialects.

Macedonian dialects which possess all the characteristics of the Bulgarian language system and are very similar in grammar and vocabulary had been described as Bulgarian dialects in the large majority of publications. The similarity of Bulgarian and Macedonian dialects is a result of their common origin and identical development for more than 12 centuries in the Bulgarian national and cultural area [15]. Bulgarian dialects in Macedonia are integral part of the Bulgarian language area and are different from the dialects in the Serbo-Croatian language continuum in all major traits. Some of them (Solun dialects, Kostur dialect, Ohrid dialect) served as originators of Bulgarian language on the whole Bulgarian linguistic territory. Therefore, Macedonian dialects are treated linguistically as typical Bulgarian dialects, and not as transitional dialects. Exception is made only for the northern-most dialects in Macedonia (torlak dialects) that are included in the Serbo-Bulgarian transitional dialects by Bulgarian, Serbian, and international linguists. [2] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]

Characteristics

Phonetic

The transitional dialects have the following phonetic traits:
Little Yus ѧ gives in transitional dialects e: месо (meat), десет (ten), гредà (beam), жèдън (thirsty)
Yat ѣ gives in transitional dialects e: млеко (milk), лето (summer)
Yery ъı () gives in transitional dialects и: бик (bull), рикам (cry)
ръ gives in transitional dialects р̥ (vowel r, syllabic r): пр̥ви (first), др̥во (tree)
Initial въ gives in transitional dialects у: удовица (widow), да улезем (to enter), уведèм (to usher in), удèвам (to thread), улàзим (to come in) унỳтре (inside)
ъ and ь give in transitional dialects ъ in all positions, i. e. they are not substituted by other vowels: тънък (thin), остън (goad), лъ̀жем (to lie), дъскà (board), съ̀н (dream), песъ̀к (sand), добѝтък (cattle), òстър (sharp), свèкър (father-in-law); дъ̀н (day), тъ̀мен (dark), лън (flax), лъ̀сно (easily), овъ̀н (ram), оръ̀л (eagle), грòзън (ugly), сѝлън (strong), стàръц (old man), венъ̀ц (wreath).
*tj-*dj give in transitional dialects кь-гь or ч-дж: свекьа, мегьа or свеча, меджа (candle, border), ноч/нокь (night), лèча/лèкя (lentils), плàчуем/плàкюем (to pay), вèджа/вèгя (brow), прèджа/прèгя (yarn)
Big Yus ѫ give in transitional dialects у: рука (hand), мука (sadness), пут (road), гỳска (goose), кудèля (distaff-ful)
Intrasyllable лъ is retained or gives л̥ (vowel л) : жлто (yellow), слза (tear)
л at the end of syllables is retained and does not change in o: пепел, крилце and not пепео, криоце (ashes, winglet)
The old sound дз /ʣ/ is retained: дзвезда, дзид/дзъд (star, wall)
There is no inserted or palatal љ: гробье, др̥вье and not гробље, др̥вље (cemetry, woods)
There is vowel reduction in transitional dialects: къкъ̀в (what), тъкà (so)
Voiced consonants at the end of words are pronounced as voiceless: боп, рок, грат instead of боб, рог, град (beans, horn, town)
Transitional dialects use the old stress: козà, орàч, мазнинà (goat, ploughman, fat)
Transitional dialects lack tonal stress (change in pitch of the stressed vowel): главà, пѝтам and not глāва, пӣтам (head, ask)
A specific middle л (л̚), which is softer than the consonant л in the other Bulgarian dialects; however it is less palatal than ль: бел̚—бел̚à (white), пàдъл̚—пàдл̚а—пàдл̚и (fallen), крил̚ò (wing), л̚ой (suet), л̚ук (onion).
Assimilation of consonant л to vowel у (ў) /u/ — Pernik л; this is characteristic for Breznik dialect in Graovo (around Pernik) and is sometimes perceived as a speech defect: скакаўèц (grasshopper), пѝўе (chicken), кеўèш (brat), кòпеўе (bastard), поўè (field).
Complete lack of the consonant ф and use of в instead of ф in new words: венèр (torch), ванèла (flannel), вỳрня (oven), Стèван (Stephen), кòва (bucket). The consonant ф does not appear even as assimilant in front of voiceless consonant: рàвт (shelf), тевтèр (notebook), Слàвчо (Slavcho), цъвтѝ (blooms), ковтòр (stove).
Lack of consonant х in all positions: мъ (moss), дъ (breath), пу (rat), гре (sin), плèто (knitted), буà (flea), леб (bread).
Very frequent use of soft н (нь) and л (ль) at the end of words (конь (horse), òгънь (fire), гòрънь (upper), тигàнь (pan), осѝль (awn), пасỳль (beans), медàль (medal)) and before the frontal vowels е, и (ньега (him), ньèму (him), гньетèм (to push), ньѝва (field); мèльем (to mill), льѝга (slobber), страшльѝв (timid)).
Traits 17, 18, 19, 20, and 21 are specific for individual transitional subdialects and are not found in either Standard Bulgarian or Standard Serbian. Traits 19 and 20 de facto remove from use two alphabetic consonants: ф is replaced by в, and х is disused. On the other hand, non-standard phonemes appear in these dialects as variations of the consonants л (л̥, л̚, ў — traits 9, 17, 18) and р (р̥ — trait 4).

Comparison of the other 16 phonetic traits with Bulgarian and Serbian shows that the first 5 traits are found in both Bulgarian and Serbian. Of the remaining 11 traits, 8 are Bulgarian (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16). Only one of the remaining 3 traits is Serbian: it is (8) the reflex of the Old Bulgarian ѫ in у. The other 2 traits (6 and 7) are between Bulgarian and Serbian and are typical traits for transitional dialects which simultaneously assimilate and dissimilate it from both. For example, pronunciation of ъ and ь as ъ (6) is similar to Serbian in that the two yers fuse in the same vowel (although such fusion partly occurs in Bulgarian); however, their pronunciation as ъ is a typical Bulgarian trait.

The *tj,*dj reflexes (7) are not exactly the same as those occuring in Serbian language. Belić [92] marks them with ћ' and ђ' evidently aiming to symbolise an intermediate pronunciation between кь-гь and ћ-ђ; however, such pronunciation is transient and occurs only in persons who want to immitate the Standard Serbian pronunciation. The real *tj,*dj reflexes are either кь-гь or ч-дж depending on the subdialect: the dialects that are closer to Morava have кь-гь, and those along Timok, Luzhnica and Vlasina have ч-дж. Neither кь-гь nor ч-дж are the Serbian ћ-ђ although they are closer to ћ-ђ than to the Bulgarian щ-жд. Still, in Moravan region the pure Serbian reflexes ћ-ђ are also heard but those have been introduced later under the educational influence. Even if one accept that the *tj,*dj reflexes (7) in these dialects are a Serbian trait, then compared to Bulgarian, the transitional dialects have 8 Bulgarian phonetic traits against 2 Serbian traits; this is sufficient to show to which Slavic language they should be classified judging by phonetics. This comes only from enumerating the phonetic traits: however, looking closer into these traits, and hearing the native pronunciation in which the stress acts with its influence on the purity of vowels (reduction) and the various analogies which produce new changes in consonants (cf. прàтен, вàтен, извàден, садèнье, светèнье, зарòбен, изгỳбен, нàйден, раслàбен, кỳпен, забрàвен, задàвен, etc.), one can immediately be convinced that this is a Bulgarian dialect, which, because of its location close to the border, has acquired some Serbian traits. Is it possible to distinguish from Bulgarian reductions such as чък instead of чак, зър instead of зар, към, къмто (къмто Цариброд), пъ си рове, какъ̀в, къндѝло, ỳ‿зъм (instead of ỳ-земе), кр̥з неко време, тр̥си-баба, гр̥дѝна, стр̥нà, дьим instead of да идем!?

Compare also the metatheses, characteristic for Bulgarian: цъвти, съвнуло, пландувам, забовàрил, цъкло, цволика, Цона, etc. which are typical for transitional dialects. Note also the dropping of the end dental consonants: милос, жалос, радос, пос, мос, грос, дъш, дванайс, петнайс, двайс; and still more: ка instead of как, ча instead of чак, etc.

Also typical for Bulgarian is the transition of сц and шч into ц and ч: бесцèно кàменье (precious stone) → бецèно, исцерѝла → ицерѝла (cured), болешчѝца, ишчѝсти → болечѝца, ичѝсти (ache, to clean).

On the contrary, in the transitional dialects one finds exactly the same additions of sounds and whole particles, as in the other Bulgarian dialects: тая люта зима (this bitter winter), тия турци (these Turks), ония двоица (those two), това (this), онова (that), толкова (so much); тука (here), оттука (from here), оддека (where from), додека (where to), преди нас (before us), зади нас (behind us).

All the above examples are found in [92, p. 233]. Belić also notes these typical Bulgarian traits, however, he does not acknowledge those as Bulgarian but explains them in a peculiar way: for the old traits (stress, дж, л) he says that these are Old Serbian traits, left over in the transitional dialects from as long ago as 12 c., when these dialects had branched from the main Serbian language. As concerns the newer traits (lack of tonal stress, vowel reduction, darkening of end consonants), he says that the transitional dialects developed those independently of Bulgarian influence. In such way Belić explains all grammatical traits of this dialect ignoring their similarities with the neighbouring Bulgarian dialects. However, accepting that the transitional dialects branched from Serbian as long ago as 12 c., Belić indirectly admits that by such branching the dialect assimilated to Bulgarian. Whether these similarities to Bulgarian are ancestral or acquired later is irrelevant to the issue to which Slavic language the transitional dialect belongs, because it is judged by its present state.

Morphological

Transitional dialects possess morphological traits reflecting the most important distinguishing characteristics of Bulgarian. The first three are the most basic traits of Bulgarian:
Fusion of all cases (except nominative and vocative) into a single indirect case (agglomerative case) and use of pronouns (analyticity) instead of cases. The nominative and agglomerative cases are distinguished in impersonated male nouns: човèкът дойдè (the man came) — остàви човèка на мѝра (leave the man alone); купѝмо волà (we bought the ox), оценѝмо си момкà (we valued the boy). The -а form is not article because the article for male gender is only -ът. The two forms (nominative and agglomerative) occur also in female nouns and adjectives: дойдè женà (a woman came) — видè женỳ, видè еднỳ женỳ (he saw a woman). This agglomerative form which is accusative by origin, took the function of all other cases and is characteristic for all dependent cases: отидè ỳ‿гору (went to the woods), ударѝ га пò‿главу (hit him on the head); убѝ се нà‿руку (he hurt his hand).
Development of article form as a further transition towards analyticity. The article in transitional dialect is only the full article -ът; short article is lacking; кòньът побèже (the horse ran), човèкът дойдè (the man came). There are vestiges of declensed article in plural animate nouns which ends in -тога for agglomerative case (човèкът – човèкатога (the man); он видè човèкатога (he saw the man); узè волàтога и коня̀тога (he took the ox and the horse)). The same article is taken by the adjacent adjectives (видè добрòтога човèка (he saw the good man)). There is also a specific form for dative article form ending in -отому: дàй добрòтому човèку (give to the good man). The feminine article in nominative case ends in -та, and in agglomerative case ends in -ту: рекàта дошлà—минỳл рекỳту (the river came—he passed the river), пòлякът òткара нàшуту кобѝлу (the field-keeper took away our mare)
Analytical expression of the infinitive with the particle да + finitive verb: можеш ли да кажеш instead of the old можеш ли казати (can you say).
These 3 traits by which the transitional dialects differ from Serbian, constitute the foundation of Bulgarian language. Whether these traits were acquired from some non-Slavic tribe, or developed under the influence of the main Bulgarian language is not of such importance, as Belić implies when he tries to show that these traits do not come from Bulgarian but from some hypothetical more common culture existing in antiquity for all Balkan peoples east of Morava. Here Belić does not see how he contradicts himself, because to assume that Moravans were influenced by another, non-Serbian culture which influenced also Bulgarians, means that Moravans have lived from time immemorial together with the Bulgars in order to acquire their language and traits lacking in Serbian; meaning that the Moravan dialect developed for a long time parallel with Bulgarian language as its integral part. And this is really so, as the further comparison will show. Thus, in addition to the above 3 "major" (as Belić calls them) traits, there are other ones, as major and important, and all together give to the transitional dialects a Bulgarian character. Below are listed some of the most important:

Analytical expression of the comparative and the superlative degrees in adjectives through the particles по- and най-: по-висок, най-голям (taller, biggest).
Analytical expression of future tense with the particles ке or че and the verb in present tense (not infinitive): ке идем or че одим (I'll go), я че пийèм (I'll drink), че му дàм (I'll give him), тѝ че пийèш (you'll drink), он че òре (he'll plough), че нòсимо (we'll carry), онѝ че нòсу (they'll carry), че òру (I'll plough). In first person singular sometimes there is чу: я чу пийèм (I'll drink), чу му дадèм (I'll give him).
Use of double personal pronouns: мeнe ме обичат; тебе ти пращат подарък; Ивана го хвалят (it is me they love, it is you to whom the present is sent, Ivan is whom they praise).
Use of the preposition на to express both indirect cases (generative and dative).
Use of suffix -ье for masculine plural nouns: гребенье (combs), овчарье (shepherds), селянье (peasants). This trait occurs in Bulgarian manuscripts as early as 12th c.; by preserving the softness of the base consonant, transitional dialects show very well its origin which is the 3rd declension, i. e., the abbreviated suffix -нѥ.
The forms for the imperative and present tense in 2nd person plural are the same, as in Bulgarian: берèте (pick), перèте (wash), четèте (read).
The two definite tenses (finite and infinite) are used much more often than in Serbian.
Verbs which in Old Bulgarian had the root -ова, in transitional dialects are pronounced -ува, as in Bulgarian: немой купува (don't buy), зарадува се (rejoiced), царува (reigns), добрувà (prospered), светувàл (existed).
The participles of verbs with soft roots do not change their root consonant which is the same as in Bulgarian: купен (bought), оставен (left), платен (paid), etc. and unlike Serbian: купљен, остављен, плаћен.
Accusative and dative forms of plural personal pronouns ни and ви are the same, as in Bulgarian: я ви не видò, затò ви руку не подàдо (I didn't give you a hand because I didn't see you); он ни не познà, затова ни не проговори (he didn't talk to us because he didn't recognise us).
Shorter forms of the pronoun in 3rd person as in Bulgarian: dative им (sr: њим), accusative ѝ (sr: ϳoϳ).
Short forms for accusative personal pronouns: мен, теб instead of мене, тебе (me, you).
Some nouns have changed gender in comparison with the standard languages: ствар (thing), смърт (death), памет (memory), кр̥в (blood), реч (speech), варош (town), жал (pity); the word вечер (evening) has double gender: добър вечер (good evening) but една вечер (one evening), първата вечер (the first evening); the words посао (work) and мисао (thought) in Serbian are masculine but in transitional dialects those are feminine (посъл, мисъл) under the influence of standard Bulgarian работа and мисъл. Cf. also: половин дън (half a day), на половин (in half) as in Bulgarian instead of половина.
Plural and singular. The word гусла (a stringed musical instrument) in transitional dialects is singular as in Bulgarian, and not plural as in Serbian. Децà (children) is considered plural as in Bulgarian: две децà (two children), със децà (with children), има децà (there are children); the same with бракя or брача (brothers), дружина (company), двоѝца (pair).
The vocative case in female nouns ending in ка in transitional dialects ends in ке instead of ко: Савке, Здравке, Марике, etc.
Against these 18 Bulgarian traits, transitional dialects have the following Serbian traits:

Accusative case in female nouns which ends in -у, which by the way results from the common ѫ reflex in these dialects.
Suffix -е for plural feminine nouns and adjectives: жèне (women), сèстре (sisters), рѝбе (fishes), рỳке (hands); белè (white), жлътè (yellow), църнè (black).
Suffix -а for plural neutral adjectives (добрà децà (good children), големà селà (big villages)). Thus, in transitional dialects adjectives have specific suffices for all genders in plural: белѝ (m), белè (f), белà (n, white); добрѝ мỳжье (good men), добрè жèне (good women), добрà децà (good children).
Forms ньèга и га instead of ,,него" and ,,го" for agglomerative case in masculine third person pronoun: ньèга га въ̀рли кòньът (the horse threw him over), мръ̀зи га ньèга (he is lazy), дàл га у сỳт (he sued him).
Verbs in first person plural end in -мо: плетемо (we knit), плетоймо (we knitted), нòсимо (we carry), òдимо (we go), пѝйемо (we drink), четѝмо (we read).
Verbs in third person plural in present tense end in -у and -е: плету (they knit), моле (they ask)
Verbs in second person plural in past tense end in -сте: пойдосте (you went), плèтосте (you knitted), брàсте (you picked), носѝсте (you carried), минỳсте (you picked), направѝсте (you made).
Verbs in third person plural in past definite end in -ше: пойдоше (they went), плèтоше (they knitted), брàше (they picked), минỳше (they packed), варѝше (they boiled), направѝше (they made).
Other than those 8 really Serbian traits, there is nothing else similar to Serbian in transitional dialects. If there are some other deviations from Bulgarian, they arose locally, either in recent or earlier times, e. g. the peculiar form for plural ending in и or ии (кучети (dogs), др̥вети (trees), колети (stakes), унучети (grandchildren)), as well as the various dative forms of the personal pronoun она – йо, о, ю, ву, во (her).

First person singular and third person plural in some transitional dialects (виду, видев (I see, they see)) and the peculiar participle form ending in -я instead of -л (видия (seeing)) are neither Bulgarian, nor Serbian. There are also many forms common for Serbian and Bulgarian.

Syntactic
As shown above, in transitional dialects there are some phonetic and morphological traits common with Serbian. Syntactically, however, in these dialects there is no trait that is common with Serbian and lacks in Bulgarian and on the contrary, there are many traits common only to Bulgarian and transitional dialects.
Thus, in addition to the 3 main traits (analytic declension, article form, and doubling of personal pronouns) which are both morphological and syntactic, transitional dialects possess the following syntactic traits that are common to Bulgarian and are lacking in Serbian:

Use of accusative case with particles such as като (as), колко (how much), како (like): като мене (as me), колко ньега (as much as him), како пас (like a dog), момче како тебе (a boy like you), колко мене йе висок (he is as tall as me).
Omission of the auxiliary verbs йе and су: он узел врекю (he took the sack), она задела дувку със клин (she plugged the hole with a wedge), деца му остали сираци (his children were orphaned), тъг му дал едън дукат (then he gave him a ducat), сватови га побрали и пропудили (his in-laws scolded him and chased him away), тъг бегали оди чуму (then they ran away from the plague).
Use of the auxiliary verb бе: бе дошъл (he had come), бе паднала (she had fallen), да не бе утекъл (if you hadn't left), бе донел (he had brought).
Omission of the conjunction да:
in future tense: я кю га изгорим (I'll burn it), я кье узнем (I'll take), кье идем на-гости у нюма (I'll visit him);
in other cases: много ни теше буде добро (it would have been good for us), теше га убийе (he could have killed him), не смеу се вр̥ну (he was afraid to go back), дали га могу найдем, не можем се опре (would I be able to find him he can't resist), иска се живи (should be alive).
Use of буди in the Bulgarian sense 'when': буди су ти отпале руке те, не си корава (when your hands are tired then you are not wily enough), буди ме газиш, що ме ломиш? (when you step on me why do you break me?). Cf. бъди, синко, бъди (when, son, when).
Frequent use of the particle си, as in Bulgarian: на си се вр̥не (to get back), продадомо си ги (we sold them), па си га ньега чувала (she brought him up), оне су си биле такве (they were like this), они си отишли (they went away).
Use of the short plural form in simple masculine nouns in counting: десет гроша (ten pennies), девет стола (nine chairs) instead of грошева, столова.
Use of invariable све: съ све войска (with all troops), съ све деца (with all children).
Use of impersonal имало: имало йедън човек (there was a man), па га било чума (he suffered the plague), паднало снег (it was snowing), град га било (it was hailing on him).
There are many idioms in transitional dialects which are obvious because of their typically Bulgarian character:

"Ти ли си, попе?" – "Я съм" – "Що чеш тука" ("Is that you, father?" – "Yes, it's me" – "What are you doing here?"). Cf. Bulgarian: що щеш тука?
"Отѝде при йеднỳ жену на конак, па пита женỳту: може ли, снао, тува да спим?" ("He went to a woman at an inn, and he asked the woman: may I, wife, sleep here?")
Да има кой да ме вати, па пò‿главу! (Let someone catch me and hit me on the head!)
Иска да знайе много (he wants to know too much), я иска да ги исечем (I want to slaughter them)
Нече падне, защо се др̥жи (he won't fall because he has a hold); иде със ньега, защо йе муж ньойън (she goes with him because he is her husband)
Па ги вр̥наше (they turned them back); па кье га пита (he'll ask him); па га па зовне (calls him sometimes)
Идоше дур границу (they went to the border)
Че дойде куде Петровден (he'll come until St. Peter's Day), че се врати куде пладне (he will come back around midday)
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Hatshepsut

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Accent

Although accent in transitional dialects shows some deviations from standard Bulgarian, it still belongs to the common Bulgarian accent group (indefinite hetero-syllabic accent), and is most similar to the accent in the northwestern Bulgarian dialects around Sofia, Tsaribrod, and Trən.
Thus, two-syllable female nouns which in Bulgarian have accent on the end syllable retain this old stress in the transitional dialects: бащà, бл̥à (flea), водà, войскà, вр̥бà, вр̥вцà, главà, главня̀, горà, гредà, децà, дъскà, женà, жл̥нà, дзвездà, земя̀, зимà, змия̀, зорà, иглà, игрà, козà, кулà, лозà, лъжà, меджà, муà, мъглà, ногà, овцà, окà, пашà, пчелà, р̥джà, рекà, росà, рукà, свечà, свилà, свиня̀, сестрà, сланà, сл̥зà, слугà, снаà, странà, стрелà, торбà, травà, чешмà, чоà. Their derivatives change stress as in Bulgarian: водѝца, вр̥бѝца, ручѝца, главѝца, etc.

Three-syllable female nouns preserve the same accent, as in Bulgarian: я̀бл̥ка, лòбода, жèнщина, мàчеа, опрàва, вèщица, у̀сница, пàзуа, пòплака, прабàба; благовèс, зàповед; бòрина, ѝстина, сбѝрщина, кòзина, ровѝна, планинà, рудѝна, слàтина, суднинà, утринà, свѝнщина; верѝга, вечèра, грамàда, др̥жàва, дубрàва, дубѝца, девòйка, жл̥тѝца, иля̀да, йетръ̀ва, качỳла, клисỳра, кобѝла, кокòна, колѝба, корỳба, кошỳля, канàта, кумѝца, ливàда, лисѝца, лопàта, лъжѝца, Морàва, невèста, недèля, орлѝца, пая̀нта, панѝца, певѝца, секѝра, сколỳва; главѝна, градѝна, гр̥бѝна, зидѝна, петѝна, шестѝна, сланѝна, средѝна; cf. also: висинà, дл̥бинà, мазнинà, милинà, врукьинà, старинà, etc.

Four-syllable female nouns: керемѝда, кираджѝка, попадѝка, меанджѝка, измекя̀рка, кречетàлка, мотовѝлка, воденѝца, самовòлька, вражалѝца, каленѝца, сиротѝна, бр̥закѝна, испòлица, я̀ловица, я̀годица, кàмерица, крàставица, мỳтеница, прèперица, рỳ̀павице (череши-хрупавици), цàревица; годѝшнина, зимòвина, лапàвица, цепòтина, човèщина, etc.

Two-syllable male nouns on one hand: грèбен, зàяк, зàйъм, ѝзвор, кàмен, òблак, òгън, òглав, òпаш гя̀вол, пèпел, пòстав, прèкор, прèлаз, прèслав, рàбуш, рèмен, кàмен, спòмен, стрàтор, трòскот, ỳглен; and on other hand: бр̥шлàн, гр̥кля̀н, кожỳ, кочàн, обèд, обтòк, овъ̀н, ячъ̀м, ожèг, осѝл, паздèр, понòр, потòк, пригòр, рукàв, сокòл, унỳк, юнàк, човèк, поля̀к, роя̀к, шестàк; and also the foreign words: боклỳк, болвàн, беглѝк, вустàн, дирèк, дулỳм, дукя̀н, индàт, ковтòр, комàт, кромѝт, пипèр, пирòн, салàм, синòр, тавàн, триòн, чèреп, шекèр, etc.

Two-syllable neutral nouns on one hand: винò, влакнò, гнездò, крилò, кроснò, млекò, платнò, селò, сукнò, лицè детè, жребè, котлè, кутрè, петлè, сребрò; on the other hand: гỳмно, жѝто, зъ̀рно, я̀то, мèсто, мàсло, рàмо, я̀гне, сèме, etc.

There is no point to give more examples; the accent similarity with common Bulgarian accent is seen from the small list above. This can be seen further from the common words below.

Morphogenic suffices

Morphogenic elements in transitional dialects are the same as in Bulgarian; most of those are also common with Serbian, and yet in those the transitional dialects are closer to Bulgarian than to Serbian. For example, the suffix -як has wider meaning, and as in Bulgarian is used also in the sense of collectivity: траволя̀к, партоля̀к, лискуля̀к, прашуля̀к, трешчиля̀к, момчурля̀к, дечурля̀к.
The diminutive suffix -ийка is shortened to -ика: комшѝка, антерѝка, попадѝка, Марѝка, Софѝка, etc.

The suffix -ка is also wider used in transitional dialects, as in Bulgarian, and in many cases it is no longer diminutive: жѝлка, кѝтка, кр̥стàчка, рỳчка, сỳчка.

Suffix -ица is used in some nouns where it is not found in Serbian but only in Bulgarian: болешчѝца, вр̥вчѝца, певѝца, ръчѝца, солчѝца, ракѝйца, песънчѝца.

Also widened is the use of suffix -ичка, as in Bulgarian: бàбичка, ведрѝчка, главѝчка, здрàвичка, лъжѝчка, корѝчка, нѝвичка, ножѝчка, панѝчка, etc.

Suffix -енце, specifically Bulgarian suffix for diminutives of neutral gender, is also used very widely in transitional dialects: детèнце, кучèнце, момчèнце, пилèнце, джубèнце, унỳченце, шишèнце, йелèченце, кравàйченце, etc.

Suffix -ин is used as widely as in Bulgarian: бекя̀рин, везѝрин, гавàзин, говедàрин, гося̀нин, пандỳрин, etc.

Suffix -ина in some cases has the same use as in Bulgarian (for collectivity), and not in Serbian: добринà, итринà, чистинà, густинà; cf. Troyan damaskin: добринıa instead of добрина meaning много добрини.

In the transitional dialects one can find even the collective suffix -нье in female nouns which occurs in some old Bulgarian literature and dialects: рудиньè, гòдинье, лозѝнье, стрàнье; cf. планиньèто, стèнье, гòрье, even зємлє.

Suffix -ище in Bulgarian, Serbian, and transitional is used for forming plural in simple nouns: пỳтища, грàдища, плèтища, дòлища but in the same time it is used for magnification, as in Bulgarian: кутрѝще, кр̥вѝще, турчѝще, детѝще, девòйчище.

Suffix -етия is for collectivity: волетѝя, момчетѝя, колетѝя, кутретѝя, парчетѝя, скупотѝя, страотѝя.

Suffices -еа and -ейе for verbs are used as in Bulgarian: живеали, пеали, смеали се; слънце грейе, да окьоравейе, да остарейе, копнейе, слабейе, белейе се, жл̥тейе се, etc.

On the contrary, there is not a single suffix which is used only in transitional and Serbian, and is not found in Bulgarian.

Lexis

If we separate words that are common to both Bulgarian and Serbian from words that are only found in transitional dialects, we can see that the rest, and they are many, are common only between Bulgarian and transitional. Out of the 2000 words, given by Belić [92], 800 are local for the transitional dialects, 1000 are common between Bulgarian and transitional and are not found in Serbian, and only 200 are common between transitional and Serbian. The last category are purely Serbian words that came into Morava region in the second half of 19th c.; those are easily recognised as foreign words either because they are bookish and formal or because they have local synonyms. It must be taken into account, that a great part of the words, assigned to the local category, are found in the Bulgarian western dialects, but these were not counted as Bulgarian because they are not in common use, e.g.: лапавина instead of лапавица, тресозем (swamp), трвонь (wood saw), трапушка (small pit), съвлак (dodder, Cuscuta sp.), старка (матица), ранкице (early pears), загмури се (dived), жъзну ме (burned me), мачуга (hoe), крупàвица (hail), крошна (basket), ковр̥част (curly), клюндр̥во (woodpecker), клашня̀нка (woolen cap), клашнье (soft woolen fabric), банка (pit), воденци (watery pears), ватраль (fire iron), etc.
The 1000 Bulgarian words can be grouped according to various criteria. Some are typical Bulgarian words which are widely used and undoubtedly belong to the Bulgarian vocabulary, e.g.: голèм, ỳбав, рàбота, рабòтим, одртèл, пъ̀шкам, надỳпчен, исплюскàл га, комкàл се, кòмка, намерѝла, дума, думам, станỳймо, кимнул, испратѝймо ги, заоратѝймо се, расчушкà ги, съсипà се, поискà му, съ̀вну, расъвну, осъвну, цъ̀вну, цъвтѝ , трсим да спастрим, отодим, наодим. мр̥мòри, кр̥мим, каним, кани се, да вр̥лим, вр̥вим, вр̥вèте, вардим, да надвѝйе, да попоскам, да прикоткам, карам, друсам, задавам се, бъ̀клица винò, дъш, мъзга, пъкло, лъ̀скаво, пуйък, излèзъл, любòв, гл̥чѝ, гл̥чка, жл̥тѝца, кл̥чѝща, жл̥чка, сплъстѝло се, слънчоглèд, дръ̀нкам, ръ̀тка, дрешки, седенкя, бувалкя, оцутра, одоцутра, пцувал, опцувал, котлè, бецèно каменье, разчорлила се, свени се, совест, градѝна, славей, бащà, кокòна, стòвна, качỳлка, òбич, тупàн, синѝгер, тараèж, велигден (and велигдън), врàчка, опàшка, дупка, дупчица, друшка, големствò, големцѝ, врапчè, клопотàр, облеклò, очилà, градỳшка, имàне, маанè, далèчко, минѝчко, ỳбавичко, блажно, рабòтна, нерабòтна, съгашно, старовремско, црвеникав, горчѝв, вакляст, галàтне думе, куче, мечка, сетне, така, съгà, къга, еднъ̀г, еднỳш, догде, првин, дори, комай, сплуло се, искам, белну се, да бръкнем, бркам, да бутнем, бутам, да куснем, да поминем, прилега, не свр̥та се, прилѝча, разбирам, налита, набеджуем, да погалим, надушуйе, сподобуйе, умѝлкуйе се, блъсък, заслънỳла се (склонила се), пъстр̥ва, шегувам се, да зèмеш, йеднъг, тъгàй, съга и съги, уджич (югич), снаоджа га (снахожда го), àрен човек, старойкя, люлькя, мишка, аджаркѝнье сливе, самовòлька жена, повѝвке (diapers), кобѝлка (кобилица), жѝчка, бувàлькя (baseball bat), патѝлник, кравàрник, повèсмо, кросно, трнокòп, обрòк, жèнщина, детѝще, падалище, кречетàло, густъ̀к (dense forest), момчурля̀к, средорек. (sr:спрудина, river island), убил га Марен!, кр̥внина (глоба за убийство), цволѝка (бучиниш, hemlock), диàние (таласъм), въшка, жъгли, да га жъгне, кр̥стъц, ракитъ̀к (ракитак), пуйка, пуйчичи, бучкам, бучка (piston), кийъц (кияк, тотмак на врата), турчетѝя, лъжла, венчѝла (венчални венци), мàточина, цепотина, бòрина, торбѝче, кладенче, песънчѝца, цàревица, мỳтеница, прèперица, кàтерица, солчѝца, ръжчѝца, панѝца, каленѝца, стринка, целѝвка, цедѝлка, семки, кречеталька, квачка, завèска, земнѝк и зѝмник, дрвнѝк, оканѝк, оканѝца (vessel containing 1 oka), камик, ремик, прашуля̀к, травуля̀к, кривак, конощѝп, заяк, канàта, коруба, калцỳнье, копиле, сучка (съчка), etc.

Another group are words that are not so common but occur in most Bulgarian dialects, e.g.: клепем, подрипỳйем, пландỳйем, пестỳйем, животỳйем, поваркỳйем, бидỳйем, ставина се, съвиня се, прашам, ощурел, дъш вр̥не, другòш, некне (през денè-си), бр̥го, вревлѝв, кощелив, клюсина, клекав, брабинàк, стреар, прикажня, кладня, чурлявина, обрисина, вражаръ̀ц, брабѝнци, вражалѝца, шупелька, умирачка, смешка, желкя, другачка, гонетка, несретник, клъчник, кр̥кàче, партоляк, нàвака (съдба), кошуля, сприя, руба, обга, карта (плоска), карпа (скала), вр̥чва, нèнавис, забовари, обричише га, улюдише га, закасàл, окни га, акну га, побъши, палъц, дзъд, цревье, оточка, опънджак, смотрим, кл̥баси, вревим, гмечим.

The third group are words that occur also in Serbian but have other meaning there, or have some specific meaning for Bulgarian and transitional, e.g.: превари га in Bulgarian and transitional means 'I overcame him' while in Serbian it means 'I deceived him'; вр̥ви in Bulgarian and transitional means 'goes' while in Serbian it means 'goes in file'; бацам in Bulgarian and transitional means 'to kiss' while in Serbian it means 'to throw'; одбирам in addition to its common meaning 'to select, to choose' in Bulgarian and transitional means also 'to understand': не одбирам от туш работу (I don't understand this thing). Such are also: докачам, прачам, облагам, капвам (капнах от ходене), истрови се (дете), кривъц (вятър), кротко (полека), држава, кр̥стъц, карам, блажим, ожени.

Finally, the closeness of transitional and Bulgarian is seen by the use of the same foreign words that do not occur in Serbian, such as: порта, дисаги, лѝпца and the verb липцà, стаса (фтаса), кромид, ластар, поянта, темпло, парусия, русалия, вута (фута); азгъ̀н, бадявà, баришъ̀к, къскандѝше, да бастишем, кабулим, заборчил се, батисàл, балдисàл, осакатил се, ерген, бумбул, атър, чатмà, камà, мая̀, бозгỳн, индàт, нишàн, керен, серкмè, чанàр, годжабашѝя, вергѝя, гарѝя, рабаджѝя, саачѝя, сайбия, япѝя, теслимуйе, трампували, дайма, сал, салте, годжà, годжàмити (instead of коджà, коджамити), зòрле, бèлким, башкà, дип, ич, сабàле, etc. Interestingly, transitional dialects use many Turkish words. Many of those have suffix -ък and this suffix is also added to local words; thus in addition to: кованлъ̀к, касаплъ̀к, комшилъ̀к, одалъ̀к, раатлъ̀к, спаилъ̀к, etc. also: гунаклъ̀к, рибарлъ̀к, ковачлъ̀к, кожарлъ̀к, оратлъ̀к (conversation), патлъ̀к (патило), приказлъ̀к, неразборлъ̀к, дечурлъ̀к, старешлъ̀к, etc.

Transitional dialect, on the other hand, do not use many of the Turkish words occuring in Serbian, such as басамак, пиринач, кашика, сирке, авля, etc. and use Bulgarian words instead: стлъба, орис, ложица, оцът, двор, etc.

All these common traits between transitional dialects and Bulgarian make us conclude that these dialects are inseparable part of Bulgarian language, and that these traits are the result of long coexistence under the same culture, same influences and same aspirations

(Sub-)dialects

Irrespective of their large dialect area, transitional dialects are very homogeneous. Only some very small and limited differences allow separation to individual dialects that are in fact sub-dialects. On the Bulgarian territory there are 3 (sub-)dialects: Trən, Breznik, and Belogradchik.

Trən dialect

Trən dialect is spoken in the region of Trən town. It is distinguished by the following traits:

1. Sonant р, л, and sometimes the groups ър, лъ: кр̥с, кр̥в, бр̥̀чка, гр̥м, but also къ̀рстът, тъ̀рнът, затъ̀рни, пригъ̀рчам, къ̀ршим; жл̥т, дл̥бòко, сл̥̀ба, but also жлът, длъбòко, слъ̀ба. However, after labial consonant there is у instead of group ъл: буà (бълха), вỳна, я̀бука, мучѝм (мълча), пун (пълен).

2. Yer vowel ъ at the place of OBg. ъ and ь: дъж, лъжем, мъ (мъх), дън (ден), лъ̀сън (лесен), овъ̀с, стàръц. There are also cases with vowel o instead of OBg. ъ and OBg. ь: ложѝца, рожъ̀нь (ръжен), собòр, соблàчим, чорàпок, моглà .

3. Triple article form, i. e. in addition to the article form -ът, -та, -та, -та, -та, which expresses general definitiveness, there are other 2 article forms: -ъв, -ва, -во, -ве, -ва for near definitiveness, to designate definite objects that are close to the speaking person, and -ън, -на, -но, -не, -на for far definitiveness, to designate definite objects that are far from the speaking person:

мỳжът, женàта, детèто, мужьèте, женèте, децàта;
мỳжъв, женàва, детèво, мужьèве, женèве, децàва;
мỳжън, женàна, детèно, мужьèне, женèне, децàна;
кòньът побèже, женàта отидè, испѝл водỳту; донèси винò у шишèво, кòньъв ме въ̀рльи, опѝнъкъв ме стèга, женàва йе бòлна, женỳву вòдете на дòктор; мужèне су билѝ на дървà, ѝжана със църнèте черемѝде йе нàша, селòно тèше да отнесè водà.

Today the article forms -ъв и -ън are seldom used.

4. Double article of female nouns that end in consonant (кос—костỳту, сол—солтỳту, пàмет—паметỳту), that developed in analogy to words such as рàбота—работỳту. Similar double article is typical for Gabrovo dialect.

Breznik (Graovo) dialect

Breznik dialect is spoken in the region of Graovo to the west and north-west of Sofia. It is characterised by the following traits:

Sonant р, л: бр̥з, вр̥бà, др̥̀во, зр̥̀на, цр̥̀вик, цр̥н, гл̥̀там, дл̥бòк, жл̥т, сл̥̀нце, стл̥̀ба. However, after labial consonant there is у instead of group ъл: буà, вук, вỳна (вълна).
Composite шч instead of шт irrespective of origin (башчà, гỳшчер, клèшчи, крàишче, пèшчо, òшче, огньѝшче, пỳшчам, шчо), but there are cases with ч (гàче, срèча, ноч). Also, instead of the composite жд regularly occurs дж: вèджа, меджà, прèджа, ръджà.
A single full article form -ът in masculine nouns:: брèгът, крàйът, мỳжът, пỳтът, стòлът, кòньът, учѝтельът.
Vowel е вместо х in the past infinite forms: бѝее (биех), гледàе (гледах), търпèе (търпях), бѝеемо, бѝеесте, бѝеею.
Future tense particle чу: чу мèсим, чу к̀ỳпим.
Example: Сèк'и не мòже дà подквàси ỳбаво к'ѝсало млèко. Онà бèше виновàта, а мỳжа си тỳраше на пòдклеп (It was her fault, but she slandered her husband). Сàмо га подкокорòсую, а òн им ѝде по акъ̀лът и щурèе.
(Goz village) Тѝ па нèму не разбѝраш. Н'èга га рàниш чèсто унèтре (You feed him often inside.) Видовà ли сестрỳ ти? Товà ми се арèсуе на мèне.

Belogradchik dialect

Belogradchik dialect is spoken to the north, west, and southwest of the town of Belogradchik. Individual migrants from this dialect area settled between Vidin and Lom and separated the Vidin-Lom dialect. In addition, the Belogradchik dialect, like the Balkan dialects, influenced the dialects from the western part of the Danubian Plain.

The Belogradchik dialect is characterised with the following traits:

Sonant consonants р and л: вр̥бà, гр̥̀не, гр̥̀нци, др̥̀во, кр̥в, ср̥п, ср̥̀це, гл̥̀там, гл̥̀тна, дл̥̀га, сл̥̀ба, вл̥к, вл̥̀на, мл̥зèм, пл̥ (плъх), пл̥̀на.
A single full article form -ът in masculine nouns: комѝнът, носъ̀т, студъ̀т, мỳжът искочѝл нà двор.
Pronoun form for 3rd person singular female agglomerative case гю, ню instead of я and for 3rd person plural dative case гьим, гюм instead of им: òн гю нèче, погл̥чàмо с ню вечертỳ; я гюм купѝ; онѝ едỳ, a òн гьѝм гл̥чѝ.
Past indefinite form with root of -ше, obtained by generalisation of the forms for 2nd and 3rd person singular: я плетèше, тѝ плетèше, òн плетèше, мѝ плетèшемо, вѝ плетèшете, онѝ плетèшео (плетèшеу).
Timok-Morava dialect
Timok-Morava dialect in its variety spoken along the right bank of the river Bulgarian Morava (South Morava) in and around the town of Nish at the turn of the 19th c. is very well illustrated in the works of Stevan Sremac, most notable of which are the novels Zona Zamfirova and Ivkova slava. The latter one begins with an introductory chapter describing the dialect traits with respect to its differences from Standard Serbian, and ends with a dictionary of dialect words. Many of these differences are due to Standard Bulgarian traits (Shop dialect according to Sremac) present in the speech of the Nish citizens.

Phonology

1. As in the other western Bulgarian dialects, the Yat reflex is ѣ → е: нѣ сам → не сам (I am not), нѣ си → не си (you are not), нѣ е → не е (he is not), нѣ сме → не сме (we are not), нѣ сте → не сте (you are not), нѣ са → не са (they are not) (instead Standard Serbian: нисам, ниси, etc.).

2. The Serbian л → о refleх at the end of words is lacking, as in Bulgarian: жао → жал (sorrow), био → бил (he was), соо → сол (salt), etc.

3. Reflex м → н lacking in both Serbian and Bulgarian: памтим → пантим (remember), узму → узну (to take), много → ного (many).

4. /v/ is sometimes dropped when preceding /ı/: правимо → праимо (to do), направи → напраи (did), etc.

5. г /g/ and к /k/ in some words are replaced with дж /ʤ/ and ч /ʧ/, most often when preceding /ı/: нагиздило се → наджиздило се (got adorned), погинеш → поджинеш (to perish), баягим → баяджим (supposedly); китим → читим (to decorate), накитило се → начитило се (was adorned), киша → чиша (rain, sleet), широки → широчи (wide), or /e/: тек → тече (until), букет → бучет (bunch of flowers). Reversely, sometimes reflexes ч /ʧ/ → к and дж/ʤ/ → г are observed: сирочичи → сирочики (orphans), рипчичи → рипчики (small fishes), санчим → санким (as if), джидия → гидия (madcap), черка → керка (daughter), чеф → кеф (fun), etc.

6. The sound й /j/ is suffixed to some indicative pronouns and adverbs: то → той (it), тук → туй (here), така → такой (such), etc.

Morphology

7. The adjective comparison forms are formed with the prefixes по- and най- as in Bulgarian (analytically): по-луд (Sr: луђи) madder, по-голем (Sr: великиjи) bigger, по-добар (Sr: бољиjи) better, по-брго (Sr: хитниje) faster; these prefixes may be put in front of nouns: по-момак (more real boy), по-зулумчар (greater wrong-doer), and even before adverbs: по-таква (more so)

8. Suffixes й /j/ and я /ja/ are added to indicative pronouns and adverbs: то → той (it), тук → туй (here), така → такой (such); а на ония будале (and to those fools), да пойе туя песму (to sing this song), etc.

9. Pronoun form for 3rd person singular female accusative case гу instead of Bg: я, нея; Sr: ју, је; 3rd person singular female dative case ну instead of Bg: ѝ, Sr: јоj њоj – traits that are similar to the Belogradchik dialect: òн гу нèче (he doesn't want her), погл̥чàмо с ну вечертỳ (we talked with her in the evening). The respective 3rd person plural pronouns are the same as in Standard Bulgarian ги and им (Sr: их, њих; им, њима): я им купи (I bought them smth.); они еду, а он ги глчи (they eat, and he scolds them).

10. Common use of -уйе, -йеш as a suffix for present tense verbs: питуйе (asks), писуйе (writes), живуйе (lives), променуйе (changes), знайе (knows), знайеш (you know).

11. A Bulgarian-type verb form for past infinite tense which is lacking in Serbian with suffices -аше and -еше: имашем (I was having), могашем (I was able); зовеше (was calling), требешем (ought to), волешем (was wishing), правешем (was doing), назешем (was taking), зборешем (was talking); пийешем (was drinking), мислешем (was thinking), тејашем (was wanting); similar for past finite tense: тешем (wanted); беше (was).

12. The past tense suffix -л changes to -я (this trait is different from both Serbian and Bulgarian): бия сам (I was), пия сам (I drinked), бегендисая (wished); славия си (celebrated), обесия (hanged), врнуя (got back), улегнуя (went to sleep); засея (sowed over), дошея (came), изашея (went out), etc.

13. The conjunction с can be also са (as in Serbian) or със (as in Bulgarian): да се ожени със нюма.

Syntaxis

14. The case system for nouns and adjectives is very simplified with only 2 cases – nominative and agglomerative (Serbian – 7 cases; Bulgarian – no cases); the lack of cases is compensated by frequent use of articles as in Bulgarian (analyticity): при него (at him), из кучу (out of the house), на той девойченце (to this girl), на Сийку (to Siyka), на нюма (to her), etc.

15. More frequent use of reflexive pronoun си compared to both Serbian and Bulgarian: та када си одоше Турци (so when the Turks (themselves) went away), па и он си пропаде (he, too, disappeared (himself)).

16. Use of 3rd person female dative instead of possessive pronoun: татко гу (her father).

Lexis

Word-formers that are found more often than in standard languages are:
17. -ин for words that lack this suffix in the standard languages: коцкарин (lecher), клисарин (sexton), екимин (doctor), etc.;

18. -ке for many time and place adverbs: тамке (there), одовутке (beyond), отутке (from here); ючерке (yesterday);
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Hatshepsut

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References
1. Стойков (Stoykov), Стойко (2002) [1962] (in Bulgarian). Българска диалектология (Bulgarian dialectology). София: Акад. изд. "Проф. Марин Дринов". ISBN 9544308466. OCLC 53429452.

2. Institute of Bulgarian Language (1978) (in Bulgarian). Единството на българския език в миналото и днес (The Unity of Bulgarian language in the past and today). Sofia: Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. p. 4. OCLC 6430481. Published in Бълг. ез. (Bulgarian language), 1978, No. 1

3. Цонев, Б. Граници на българската реч и народност (Borders of Bulgarian language and ethnicity). In: История на българския език (History of Bulgarian language). Vol. 1. Sofia, 1940, pp. 272-301.

4. Селищев, Афанасий. Избранные труды, Москва 1968.

5. Die Slaven in Griechenland von Max Vasmer. Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Berlin 1941. Kap. VI: Allgemeines und sprachliche Stellung der Slaven Griechenlands.

6. K. Sandfeld, Balkanfilologien (København, 1926, MCMXXVI).

7. Konstantin Josef Jireček, Die Balkanvölker und ihre kulturellen und politischen Bestrebungen, Urania, II, Jg. 13, 27. März 1909, p. 195.

8. Stefan Verković, Описание быта македонских болгар; Топографическо-этнографический очерк Македонии (Description of the life of Macedonian Bulgarians. Topographic and ethnographic essay of Macedonia), St. Petersburg, 1889.

9. Шклифов, Благой. Проблеми на българската диалектна и историческа фонетика с оглед на македонските говори (Problems of the Bulgarian dialect and historic phonetics with respect to the Macedonian dialects), София 1995, с. 14.

10. Шклифов, Благой. Речник на костурския говор (Dictionary of Kostur dialect), Българска диалектология, София 1977, с. кн. VІІІ, с. 201-205.

11. Mladenov, Stefan. Geschichte der bulgarischen Sprache, Berlin, Leipzig, 1929, § 207-209.

13. Младенов, Ст. Граници на българската реч и държава в миналото и днес (Borders of Bulgarian language and state in the past and today). Родна реч, 1927, Issue 1, 16-23.

14. Младенов, Ст. Понятието ,,български език" и границите на българския език. Брой и разпространение на българите (The term "Bulgarian language" and the borders of Bulgarian language. Number and distribution of Bulgarians). In: Младенов, Ст. История на българския език (History of Bulgarian language). Sofia, 1979, 21-22.

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52. Mladenov, St. Geschichte der bulgarischen Sprache. Berlin und Leipzig, 1929, 13, 92-96, 317-318.

53. Василев, Ст. П. Граници между източните и западните български говори (Borders between eastern and western Bulgarian dialects). Родна Реч, 1934, No. 3, 179-181.

54. Георгиев, Вл. Предславянският произход на ятовата граница (The pre-Slavic origin of the Yat border). In: Въпроси на българската етимология (Problems in Bulgarian etymology). Sofia, 1959, 114-119.

55. Стойков, Ст. Ятовият преглас в български език (The Yat reflex in Bulgarian language). Бълг. ез., 1963, No. 4-5, 326-332.

56. Младенов, М. Сл. Ятовата граница в светлината на нови данни. (Към въпроса за диалектното разчленение на българския език.) (The Yat border in the light of new data: On the dialect differentiation of Bulgarian language). In: Славистичен сборник (Slavistic compendium). Sofia, 1973, 241-256.

57. Шаур, Вл. За произхода на ятовата граница в българския език (On the origin of the Yat border in Bulgarian language). In: Исторически развой на българския език (Historical development of Bulgarian language). Vol. 3. Сравнително езикознание. Диалектология. Превод. (Comparative linguistics, dialectology, translation), Sofia, 1983, 255-271.

58. Кочев, Ив. Фонетични и фонологични промени на ê < ѣ в говори около ятовата граница (Phonetic and phonological ê < ѣ reflexes around the Yat border. Изв. Инст. бълг. ез., 16, 1968, 437-445.

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60. Генчев, Ст. Към проучването на различията между обичаите при погребение от страни на ятовата граница в Северна България (On the study of funeral rites varieties on the two sides of the Yat border). Изв. на Етнографския институт с музей, 11, 1968, 169-200.

61. Младенов, М. Сл. Ятов изоглосен пояс!? (Yat isogloss belt!?, Съпост. езикознание (Comparative linguistics), 1990. No. 4-5, 223-227.

62. Hristova, E. 2008. The modern substitutes of the Old Bulgarian nasal vowels ѫ and ѧ in the Gorani dialect in Albania. Macedonian Review, 2:97-102 (Доц. д-р Евдокия Христова. 2008. Съвременните застъпници на старобългарските назални гласни ѫ и ѧ в горанския говор в Албания. Македонски преглед, 2:97-102).

63. Mladenov, St. Geschichte der bulgarischen Sprache. Berlin, 1929, 119-121.

64. Цонев, Б. Разпределение на българските говори tj, dj (Distribution of Bulgarian tj, dj dialects). In: История на българский език (History of Bulgarian language). Vol. 1. Sofia, 1940, 344-350.

65. Кочев, Ив. Съчетанията ш'т, жд в солунския диалект (Diphthongs ш'т, жд in Solun dialect). Бълг. ез., 1986, 5:426-428.

66. Бoжков, Р. Континуатите на праславянските съчетания tj, dj в босилиградския говор (Continua of proto-Slavic phthongs tj, dj in Bosilegrad dialect). Бълг. ез., 1987, 1-2:123-127.

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Hatshepsut

Bulgarian dialects


Source: https://lyudmilantonov.blogspot.com/2009/05/bulgarian-dialects-bulgarian-balgarski.html

Bulgarian dialects (гòвори) are part of the South Slavic dialect continuum, linked with Serbian to the west and bordering Albanian, Greek and Turkish to the south, and Romanian to the north. All Slavic dialects spoken in the geographical regions of Macedonia, Thrace, Moesia, and Dobrudzha are dialects of the Bulgarian language. [1] [2] [3]</> [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11]

Considering the striking individualty of Bulgarian compared with the other Slavic languages, some non-Bulgarian linguists use also the terms: east-southern Slavic dialects; Balkano-Slavic dialects; Macedonian dialects; Slavic dialects in Northern Greece, Albania, and Kosovo, etc. With such descriptions they indicate the dialects of the whole Bulgarian historical and geographic dialect territory. Although they avoid using explicitly the national designation, in fact, they acknowledge the individuality and unity of Bulgarian language.

Bulgarian dialect language today because of changes of extra-linguistic character is found in and outside the state borders of Republic of Bulgaria in the three historical regions: Moesia, Thrace and Macedonia. It has a chracteristic individuality: in the ninth century, it is a classic Slavic language, and now it is a Balkan language, characterised by nouns with no cases but with rich articularisation, analytical formation of the degrees of comparison, doubling of the object, etc.; in the verbs - replacing the infinitive with a "to" construct, formation of an analytical future tense with particles and so on. These grammatical features (with minor exceptions) are characteristic of all dialects and the specifics of the Bulgarian language is built on them as an individual and characteristic Slavo-Balkan language. This characteristic is confirmed by hundreds of foreign researchers. In the field of phonetics and vocabulary, however, differences between dialects are essential and the dialect classification is done on them.

Bulgarian dialectology dates to the 1830s and the pioneering work of Neofit Rilski, Bolgarska gramatika, published 1835 in Kragujevac. Other notable researchers in this field include Marin Drinov, Konstantin Josef Jireček, Benyo Tsonev, Yordan Ivanov, Lyubomir Miletich, Aleksandar Teodorov-Balan, Stoyko Stoykov, Stefan Mladenov, Blagoy Shklifov.

An important characteristic of Bulgarian dialectology is that the names of dialects and dialect groups are based exclusively on the geographic principle which helps to classify dialects objectively on the basis of linguistic traits, irrespective of the political conjuncture. This is in sharp contrast to the dialectologies of neighbouring countries which base their dialect classifications on subjective ethnic grouping, e.g., Serbian dialectology – "torlak", "shop", "macedonian (in ethnic sense)" dialects; Greek dialectology – "pomak" dialect, etc. As a rule, ethnic dialectology has resulted in invented nationalities turning dialectology into a weapon for political aspirations.

Dialect area

Bulgarian language area is located in the Eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. To the north, it borders Romanian language, of the Roman language family. The language border goes along Danube from the Timok Estuary to the town of Silistra, then it crosses Dobrudja and ends at the Black Sea coast. In the past, a numerous Bulgarian population lived in Romanian (Northern) Dobrudja but in 1941 according to an agreement between the Bulgarian and Romanian governments, these people were moved to the Bulgarian (Southern) Dobrudja in the place of re-settled Romanian population. Therefore, the northern border of Bulgarian language is clearly delineated as it separates two different languages: Bulgarian and Romanian. The eastern border is the Black Sea. The southern border of Bulgarian is not clearly defined. The Bulgarian population in the southern parts of Thrace and Macedonia lived for many centuries mixed with other ethnicities, primarily Greeks and Turks, speaking languages, very different from Bulgarian. So, instead of language mixing, these ethnicities remained clearly differentiated on the language basis and, indeed, language became the main ethnic characteristic. A large part of Bulgarians (Grecomans) spoke Greek in public and Bulgarian at home. Islamised Bulgarians (Pomaks) spoke a Bulgarian dialect mixed with Turkish words. And yet, a historical border to the south exists that separates Bulgarians from others. It is the old Roman road Via Ignatia that connects the Adriatic with the Black Sea. For a large part, it goes close to the Aegean coast [85]. North of Via Ignatia Bulgarians predominate while south of it they are in the minority.


A 1865 map of the Balkan Peninsula, showing the track of Via Ignatia [85]

To the west, Bulgarian borders Serbian language. This border, however, is not clearly defined. Bulgarian and Serbian are very similar Slavic languages, and Bulgarians and Serbs have a lot in common in their languages and customs. Because of the specific historical circumstances on the lands around the Bulgarian-Serbian border, the population there lived for many centuries in a single economical, political, and cultural community. Thus, on a dialect basis, the languages are not easily distinguished. Until 15th century, these lands were alternately under Bulgarian and Serbian rule, and then for 5 centuries they were ruled by the Ottomans. The state border was established only in 1878; until then the Serb-Ottoman border went much further to the west [13].

The border to the west and southwest goes along the approximate line established by Stefan Verković – Serbian folk researcher and ethnograph, and Prof. Afanasiy Selishchev – a great Russian Slavist. For the western and southern borders of Bulgarian, Verković writes in detail in his works [82] and [8]:

The border to the south is defined by Bistritsa River from its sources to its estuary, then by Hortach, Vavro, Kolomenta, Kakavo, and Erisovo. Bulgarian language is prevalent to the north of the above rivers ... To the north, starting from the beginning of the mountain range separating Prizren and Shkodra sandzaks, the border between Bulgarian and Serbian tribes consists by the high chains of Shar that reach as far as Kachanik where they connect with the so-called Skopian Montenegro. From Kachanik to Morava River, the border goes along the above-mentioned Skopian Montenegro. The border between Bulgarians and Serbs living in Kosovo plain is Morava River. From Morava River as far as the Danube the vernacular is identical to that of Macedonian and Thracian Bulgarians ... ([8], pp. 43-44).
The studies of Verković which he did for 30 years, are fully confirmed by other Serbian scientists, such as Milovan Vidaković (1833), Dr. Jovan Subotić (1845), Jovan Gavrilović (1863), Tuminski (1868), А. Hadžić (1870), Vasa Pelagić (1879) and others.

It is worth noting that much the same border to the west was drawn by Krste Misirkov in his study [84]:

The border between Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian languages and peoples is the line that begins on the right bank of Sava River, goes to the south along the watershed of Kolubara and Morava, then along the watershed of Serbian Morava and Ibar to Skadar and the Adriatic Sea.
More specific data about the south-western border are found in the comprehensive study of Prof. Selishchev [83], as a part of his work "Slavic-Albanian relations". Below is a short excerpt:

Bulgarian south-western language borderline, starting at the mountain ranges of Gorusha and Gramos and from Belitsa River to the south turns from the village of Slimitsa to the east and further to the north, to the Bulgarian village Lobanitsa and to the Bulgarian-Albanian town Biglishta goes to the north-west ... From the village Podbuche it goes to the south shore of Ohrid Lake, to the Bulgarian monastery "St. Naum". At Struga the borderline goes to the west of Drin. Further to the north-west of the crest of Golo Brdo at the village Torbochani crosses to the other side of Drin River ... along the Drin ... From here, at Kenok Hill, the border turns to the east to the Bulgarian Muslim village Zhernonitsa and further to the Mavrovi Inns ... to Rudoka Mountain, to the Vratsa Pass and to the villages of Prizrenska Gora, situated between Shar Mountain, Rudoka Mountain and Koritnik ... From Gora to the north-east through the Shar Mountain, from its peak Lyubotran and then to the east, north of the Bulgarian village Rogachevo, goes to Dervent in Polog near Vardar and further to the north-east to Skopjan Montenegro (pp. 1-3).
Compared, the three quoted authors agree completely. This shows the precision of their research, although carried out in different years and circumstances. Indeed, in the borders so delineated, there are foreign populations: Albanians, Turks, Greek, as well as Turkified, Hellenised, or Serbianized Bulgarians but as long as there is a language with the traits characteristic for Bulgarian language, it is strictly Bulgarian, different from all other languages.

However, the various geographic, historical, political, and economic factors exerted a powerful influence to generate a great variety of dialects. A number of traits cross in these dialects which are not present in all of them but occur in such combinations that give an individual aspect of each dialect. The dialects are similar or dissimilar to each other but in a way that creates a complex branched chain between them. Thus, Bulgarian dialects are doubly connected: through common traits that make a single language regardless of minor variations, and through local traits characterising dialect groups that also unite dialects into a single language but through a chain-like connection. The strength of this link is felt especially in the similarity of dialects which are distant in geographical sense (e.g., Smolyan dialect in the Rhodopes and the Debar (Miyak-Rekantsi) dialect as far as the Albanian mountains in Macedonia, or the Shop dialect along Iskar and the Moesian dialects towards Danube and the Black Sea.

The dialects along the western Bulgarian border, so-called 'transitional dialects', became an object of the Greater Bulgarian and Greater Serbian jingoism. Bulgarian and Serbian politicians tried through dialectology to prove that the dialects in the border area are pure Bulgarian or pure Serbian. Bulgarian linguists drew the border of Bulgarian language far to the west — from the Timok Estuary through Zaecar, Bolevac, Stalac, Pristina to Prizren. Serbian linguists placed the eastern border of Serbian language at Iskar River or even at the Yat border [14].

In fact, not only along the Bulgarian western border but everywhere, especially among Slavs, in the border areas between close languages there are always transitional dialects and the change from one language to another is very gradual. The transitional dialects can be explained with the instability of political borders between the peoples during their national formation. The population in the border area usually had been ruled alternately by one or another Middle Age state or Empire, and had lived together with close economical, cultural, and political ties. Such transition is seen for Czech and Polish dialects, Polish and Byelo-Russian, Russian and Ukrainian, etc.

Macedonian dialects which possess all the characteristics of the Bulgarian language system and are very similar in grammar and vocabulary had been described as Bulgarian dialects in the large majority of publications before WWII. The similarity of Bulgarian and Macedonian dialects is a result of their common origin and identical development for more than 12 centuries in the Bulgarian national and cultural area [15]. Bulgarian and Macedonian are part of a language continuum which is different from the Serbo-Croatian language continuum. After the codification of Standard Macedonian language in the Republic of Macedonia on the basis of two southwestern Bulgarian dialects (Prilep-Mariovo dialect and Bitola dialect) in 1944-45, some linguists recognised the new standard as a separate language, although Bulgarian (including some members of the codification committee) and many non-Bulgarian linguists do not accept the codification, describing it as a political decision without a solid linguistic basis. [2] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24] [25] [26] [27] [28]


Interactive Bulgarian dialect map showing the individual dialects


Classification

Bulgarian language developed in historical circumstances that contributed to its dialect segmentation and crossover. Therefore, today it is among the the most dialectically segmented Slavic languages. Modern Bulgarian dialects carry remnants from old tribal divisions of the Bulgarian ethnos during its historical development from the First Bulgarian State until the end of the Ottoman rule.

When classifying Bulgarian dialects, the Bulgarian dialectology lays stress on two kinds of traits: traits that distinguish individual dialects, and, on the other hand, traits that are common to two or more dialects and unite them in larger dialect groups. Distinguishing individual dialects in the present state of Bulgarian dialectology is a very difficult, almost impossible, task. Bulgarian dialects are not systematically studied by the methods of linguistic geography to show the territorial distribution of linguistic phenomena. Furthermore, the specific historic fate of Bulgarians resulted in a complicated dialect segmentation of the Bulgarian dialect area which spans at present several countries. [29] [30] [31] [32] [33] [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40] [41] [42] [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48]

Classification of Bulgarian dialects in dialect groups is difficult and arbitrary because the ties between local dialects cross in a counter-intuitive way. Indeed, Bulgarian dialectology recognises a classification based on geographical regions but it is only tentative. According to this classification, there are so-called territorial dialects: 1) Eastern dialects, subdivided in Moesian, Balkan, and Rup dialects, each with its subdialects; 2) Western dialects, subdivided in North-western, South-western, and transitional.

These groups are not unique; each of them crosses with the others in various ways, so it would be more instructive to describe dialect similarities and differences on the basis of some ten major traits and several language forms of such nature as to give an impression of a dialect, imparting to it an individual flavour.

Classification by the Yat mutation

The oldest and most widely accepted Bulgarian dialect isogloss is the Yat border. It was established more than 150 years ago and has received strong support throughout. According to the Yat classification (the mutation of the Old Bulgarian vowel ѣ (Yat)), Bulgarian dialects are divided in 2 large groups: Yakavian (Eastern) and Ekavian (Western). Ekavian dialects pronounce ѣ solely as /ɛ/ (/bɛl/, /bɛli/) while Yakavian pronounce it /ʲa/ or /e/ (/bʲal/, /beli/) or solely /ʲa/ (/bʲal/, /bʲali/).


The Yat isogloss ("Yat border")

The Yat border was first defined by Hristodul K. Sichan Nikolov [49] and the Russian Slavist Viktor Grigorovich [50]. It was next described by Petko Slaveykov and Konstantin Jireček and accurately traced by towns and villages by Prof. Benyo Tsonev and Prof. Lyubomir Miletich.[51] [52] [53] [54] [55]

The Yat border (see map opposite) begins from the Vit Estuary and goes to the south in the direction Pirdop — Panagyurishte — Razlog — Gotse Delchev (Nevrokop) — Solun (Thessaloniki), making a sharp turn around Pazardzhik. The border goes through the regions of Nikopol, Pleven, Lukovit, Lovech, Teteven, Pirdop, Panagyurishte, Ihtiman, Peshtera, Chepino, Razlog, Gotse Delchev, Melnik, Petrich, Demir Hissar, Kukush (Kilkis), Ser, and Solun. Thus, it divides in two regions the Bulgarian (including Macedonian) dialects. In the Yakavian area are, e.g., the regions of Ser, Drama, Gotse Delchev, the eastern part of Solun Region as far as Mesta, that is, the whole Eastern Macedonia. [51]

In the Middle Ages, Yakavism was widespread in the whole Bulgarian language area, reaching to the extreme south-west. This is evidenced by the 16. century Bulgarian-Greek dictionary, written in the Kostur dialect (Bogatsko), e.g., хляб (bread), желязо (iron), вядро (bucket), коляно (knee), простряно (spread), невяста (wife), ряка (river), вятер (wind), сячиво (tool), etc.

In the past, Bulgarian dialectology distinguished two groups of Yakavian dialects, also on the basis of the Yat mutation: North-Eastern dialects pronouncing Yat only as я /ʲa/ (/bʲal/, /bʲali/) and South-Western dialects pronouncing it only as /ɛ/ (/bɛl/, /bɛli/). The border between North-Eastern and South-Western dialects started at Pazardzhik and went along the right bank of Maritsa River, or, more accurately, along the northern slopes of the Rhodopes until the village of Skobelevo (Parvomay Region) where it crossed Maritsa and with small turns went to Burgas. This border was also traced by villages by Tsonev. [51]

Therefore, Bulgarian dialects were divided in 3 groups on the basis of Yat mutation:

Western dialects (mutational Yat) which instead of Yat use only e /ɛ/ (/ɡɔlˈɛm/, /ɡɔlˈɛmi/, /ˡlɛtɔ/, /ˡlɛtɛn/, /ˈmlɛkɔ/, /mlɛkˈar/). Such were the dialects on the Danubian Plain west of the Yat border, plains to the north and south of the Balkan Mountain: Botevgrad, Sofia, Ihtiman, Samokov, Radomir, Dupnitsa, Kyustendil, the Western Borderlands, dialects in Central and Western Macedonia and transitional dialects.
Northeastern dialects (semi-mutational Yat) which instead of Yat use я /ʲa/ or e depending on accent and on the next syllable (/ɡɔlˈʲam/, /ɡɔlˈemi/, /ˡlʲatɔ/, /ˡleten/, /ˈmlʲakɔ/, /mlekˈar/). Such were the dialects on the Danubian Plain east of the Yat border, all Balkan and Middle Mountains Region and to the south in the Thracian Plain to the slopes of the Rhodopes.
Southeastern dialects (non-mutational Yat) which instead of Yat use either я /ʲa/ (/ɡɔlˈʲam/, /ɡɔlˈʲami/, /ˡlʲatɔ/, /ˡlʲaten/) or e /ʲe/(/ɡɔlˈʲem/, /ɡɔlˈʲemi/, /ˡlʲetɔ/, /ˡlʲeten/). Such were the dialects in the southern part of Burgas, Elhovo, Topolovgrad, Harmanli, Dimitrovgrad, Haskovo, south of Plovdiv, Asenovgrad, Peshtera, Smolyan, Devin, Chepino, etc.
By 1964, however, after the compilation of the first volume of the Bulgarian Dialect Atlas which encompasses dialects in the South-Eastern Bulgaria to the east of the 25th meridian and south of the Balkan Mountain ridge, it was found that a second Yat border Pazardzhik-Burgas didn't exist. [56] There is a relatively small group of non-mutational Yat dialects (/bʲal/−/bʲali/, /mlʲaku/−/mlʲatʃen/) along Maritsa River while the rest of the southeastern dialect area consists of semi-mutational Yat dialects (/bʲal/−/bʲeli/, /mlʲaku/−/mlʲetʃen/) to the east and non-mutational Yat dialects (/bʲel/−/bʲeli/, /mlʲeku/−/mlʲetʃen/) to the west. It is unclear if the present state of the southeastern Bulgarian dialects is due to changes that happened after 1903 — the time when Prof. Tsonev carried out his field studies — or this is an earlier situation which he did not detect. It is more likely that in his trip, Tsonev determined only partially the northern border of non-mutational Yat dialects (/bʲal/−/bʲali/, /mlʲaku/−/mlʲatʃen/) and incorrectly stated that south of this border, all such non-mutational Yat dialects were located. For this reason, the idea of a second Yat border as a distinguishing isogloss was abandoned and the earlier idea of a single Yat border dividing all Bulgarian dialects in Yakavian (eastern) and Ekavian (western) held sway. [55] [56] [57] [58] [59] [60]

The Yakavian-Ekavian classification of Bulgarian dialects is clear-cut but it has serious flaws. First of all, there are no other isoglosses that coincide with the Yat border. Usually, at both sides of the Yat border there are completely identical dialects which differ only by the Yat pronunciation. Furthermore, a single linguistic trait, whether phonetic, morphological, or lexical, is not sufficient to characterize a dialect or dialect group.

More recent studies, however, showed that the Yat border is not so singular and isolated as thought before. Indeed, there are no other isoglosses that completely coincide with it. However, close to the Yat border, especially in its part to the north of Pazardzik, there are several other isoglosses running in parallel, mainly to the west of the Yat border. Such are some phonetic, accent, morphological and lexical isoglosses like the mutation /ˡʲa/-/ˡɛ/ (/polˈʲani/—/polˈɛni/, /pijˈani/—/piˈɛni/), accent in some verb forms (/tʃˈɛta/—/tʃɛtˈɤ/, /bˈɛri/—/bɛrˈi/, /bˈɛrete/—/berˈɛte/), the suffix for verb conjugation in first person plural present tense (/berˈɛme/—/berˈɛm/, /nˈɔsime/—/nˈɔsim/), some words (/ʲa/—/as/, /ɔn/—/tɔj/, /ʒeʒɔk/—/ɡoreʃt/, /krap/—/kɤs/, /razbɔj/—/stan/), etc. [61] [56]

For this reason the Yat division of Bulgarian dialects is actual and important at present. One must have in mind that the Yat pronunciation, as a very frequent trait, is very characteristic for Bulgarian dialects — it can readily identify colonists from individual regions of the Bulgarian linguistic territory. Furthermore, there is no other linguistic trait that groups so clearly and regularly the Bulgarian dialects. This is evident by the attempts of Prof. Tsonev to classify Bulgarian dialects by other traits like the Big Yus (Big Nasal) substitutes, diphtong /ʃt/-/ʒd/ mutations, Yer substitutes, accent, etc.

Classification by Big Yus (Big Nasal) substitutes

The Big Yus (Big Nasal) ѫ in Old Bulgarian corresponded to the nasal vowel /*oⁿ/. In standard Bulgarian it existed until the spelling reform of 1945 when it was replaced with ъ as it had long before lost its original phonemic equivalent in most dialects. There is a variety of Big Yus mutations and substitutions (see map opposite) in Bulgarian dialects (shown below on the example of Old Bulgarian рѫкa /r*oⁿk'a/ hand, зѫбъ /ˡz*oⁿb/ tooth, зѫби /z*oⁿbˈi/ teeth):


The Big Yus isoglosses

ъ-dialects (ръкà /rɘk'a/, зъп /ˡzɤp/, зъби /zɘbˈi/). These are the majority of Bulgarian dialects and the standard Bulgarian. These dialects are located mostly in the North-Eastern and North-Western Bulgaria, the eastern part of South-Eastern Bulgaria, large part of Macedonia (Drama, Ser, Kukush, Doiran, Gevgelia, northern Kostur, Dolna Prespa, southeastern Lerin, Ohrid, Resen, Struga, Gostivar, north of Debar), Gora [62], Thrace (Aegean Thrace, European part of Turkey), and small areas in Asia Minor.

а-dialects (ракà /rаk'a/, зап /ˡzap/, заби /zˈabi/). These dialects are also widespread. They are located mostly in Western Bulgaria — Vratsa, Botevgrad, Eastern Sofia Region, Pernik, Radomir, Kyustendil, Ihtiman, Samokov, Dupnitsa, large part of Vardar Macedonia (Veles, Kichevo, Bitola). In this group are included also some Yakavian (Eastern) dialects: Pirdop, Koprivshtitsa, Klisura, and some parts of Rhodopes. These dialects are called "central dialects" because geographically they take a central position in the Bulgarian dialect area. [51]

у-dialects (рука /rˈuka/, зуб /ˡzub/, зубе /zˈubɛ/). These dialects are the transitional dialects located around the Bulgarian-Serbian border (Belogradchik, Tsaribrod, Tran, Breznik, Bosilegrad) and northern Macedonia (north of Kumanovo, Kratovo, Skopie).

о, ô-dialects (рòка /rˈɔka/, зоп /ˡzɔp/; рồка /rˈɐka/, зôп /ˡzɐp/). These dialects have isolated character and are found in the Central and Eastern Rhodopes and around Debar in Macedonia (ô-dialects also in Western Rhodopes).
ê-dialects (рềка /rˈæka/, зêп /ˡzæp/). These are found only in Teteven Region, two villages in eastern Bulgaria (Kozichino (Erkech), Pomorie Municipality and Gulitsa, Varna Municipality), three villages in the southwestern corner of Vardar Macedonia around Struga (Radozhda, Vevchani and Mali Vlay), and the village Lin in Albania.
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Hatshepsut

 :arrow:
Eastern Bulgarian dialects

Moesian dialects
Shumen dialect
Razgrad dialect
Balkan dialects

Central Balkan dialect

Kotel-Elena-Dryanovo dialect
Panagyurishte dialect
Pirdop dialect
Teteven dialect
Erkech dialect
Subbalkan dialect

Transitional Balkan dialects

Galata dialect
Dragichevo dialect
Varbitsa dialect

Rup dialects

Eastern Rup dialects

Strandzha dialect
Thracian dialect

Rhodopa (Middle Rup) dialects

Smolyan dialect
Shiroka laka dialect
Hvoyna dialect
Batak dialect
Chepino dialect
Paulician dialect
Zlatograd dialect
Chech dialect

Western Rup dialects

Babyak dialect
Razlog dialect
Gotse Delchev dialect
Drama-Ser dialect
Solun dialect

Western Bulgarian dialects

Northwestern Bulgarian dialects

Byala Slatina-Pleven dialect
Vidin-Lom dialect

Transitional Bulgarian dialects

Tran dialect
Breznik dialect
Belogradchik dialect
Godech dialect
Bosilegrad dialect
Tsaribrod dialect
Skopie-Kumanovo-Kratovo dialect
Tetovo dialect
Kosovo-Morava (nashinski) dialect
Timok-Morava dialect

Southwestern Bulgarian dialects

Botevgrad dialect
Vratsa dialect
Sofia dialect
Elin Pelin dialect
Ihtiman dialect
Samokov dialect
Dupnitsa dialect
Kyustendil dialect
Blagoevgrad dialect
Petrich dialect
Pianec-Kamenitsa-Kraishte dialect
Malashevo dialect

Middle Vardar dialects

Bitola dialect
Veles dialect
Prilep-Mariovo dialect

Southwestern border Bulgarian dialects

Doyran dialect
Kukush-Voden dialect
Gevgelia dialect
Enidzhe-Vardar dialect
Kostur dialect
Lerin dialect
Ohrid-Struga dialect
Prespa dialect
Debar (Miyak-Rekantsi) dialect
Korcha dialect

Among the traditional diaspora

Banat Bulgarian dialect
Wallachian Bulgarian dialects
Transylvanian Bulgarian dialects
Bulgarian dialects in the former Soviet Union
Anatolian Bulgarian dialects

The above dialects have lost the old nasalism of ѫ. The next 3 groups have preserved the nasalism in a slightly modified form. Modifications include increased articulation of the nasal vowel to the extent of separating the nasalism in a consonant − н /ŋ/ in front of voiceless consonants or м /ɱ/ in front of voiced consonants − and dialect-specific substitution of the nasal vowel. This trait defines the nasal dialects as very ancient.

ън/ъм-dialects (рънка /rɘŋkˈa/, зъмб /ˡzɤɱb/) – Solun dialect, Kostur dialect, and most of Dolna Prespa dialect.
ан/ам-dialects (ранка /rɑŋkˈa/, замб /ˡzɑɱb/) – extinct trait of Korcha dialect.
ôн/ôм-dialects (рôнка /rɐŋkˈa/, зôмб /ˡzɐɱb/) – existed in the Kostenariya and Nestram in the southernmost Kostur dialect area. Probably, ôн/ôм-dialects are the oldest because in them ѫ is closest to its original pronunciation.
A serious flaw of this classification is that it, too, is isolated with no other confirming isogloss. Moreover, unlike the Yat border, it does not divide Bulgarian dialects in a regular manner. [63]

Classification by *tj, *dj mutations
By the *tj, *dj mutations, there are 5 dialect groups: [64]

шт/жд-dialects (нош(т) /nɔʃ(t)/, леща /leʃta/, среща /sreʃta/; прежда /preʒda/, вежди /veʒdi/, межда /meʒda/) take the major part of the Bulgarian dialect area being exclusive in all Eastern and Northwestern Bulgaria, prevalent in Samokov, Sofia, Ihtiman, Ohrid, Struga, pocket close to Lerin (Banitsa, Pətele, Ekshi Su, Zeleniche, Prekopana), Dolna Prespa, Solun [65], Drama, Ser, Dupnitsa, Kyustendil, Petrich and mixed with other *tj, *dj mutations in the rest of the dialect area.
ч/дж-dialects (ноч /nɔtʃ/, лeча /lɛtʃa/, среча /sretʃa/; преджа /prɛdʒa/, веджи /vɛdʒi/, меджа /medʒa/) in which the palatal affricates ћ /cç/ and ђ /ɟj/ that were borrowed from the Serbian language since the 16-17th century were hardened (de-palatinized) to become ч /tʃ/ and дж /dʒ/. These are the transitional dialects around the Bulgarian-Serbian border in the regions of Belogradchik, Tsaribrod, Tran, Breznik, Bosilegrad [66], and some regions in Eastern Serbia (Pirot, Surdulica), Kosovo (Gora), and Northern Macedonia (north of Skopje and Kumanovo).
к/г(кь/гь)-dialects (нокь /nɔc/, лекя /leca/, срекя /sreca/; прегя /preɟа/, вегьи /veɟi/, мегя /meɟа/) are spoken to the west and north-west of Kyustendil (Kyustendil Kraishte and Kamenitsa), northern Macedonia (Gorni Polog, Skopska Crna Gora, Kumanovo, Ovče Pole, Kratovo, Kriva Palanka), Tetovo, Veles, Prilep, Mariovo, Bitola and north of it; and partly (mixed with other шт/жд mutations) in the regions of Debar, Prespa, Kastoria (Kostur) (very rare), Doyran, Florina (Lerin), Kilkis (Kukush), Edessa (Voden), Pianec. The plosive consonants /c/ and /ɟ/ are pronounced usually without frication with different degree of plosion (dorsal to frontal) and palatization. A variation of this mutation, шт → йкь(jкь) /ʲc/ and/or жд → йгь(jгь) /ʲɟ/, occurs in some villages around Kukush, Voden, and Lerin. The area of mutation of the future tense forming particle (ще /ʃte/ → ке /kɛ/, кье /ce/) is much wider and includes also southern Sofia region, Ihtiman, Samokov, Pazardzhik, and some Eastern Rup dialects (Thrace and Strandzha dialects, e.g., Elhovo, Svilengrad, etc.).
шч/ждж-dialects (ношч /nɔʃtʃ/, лешча /leʃtʃa/, срешча /sreʃtʃa/; прежджа /preʒdʒа/, вежджи /veʒdʒi/, межджа /meʒdʒа/) are found in a relatively pure state in Korcha, Kostur, Doyran, and Ohrid town; mixed with кь/гь and/or шт/жд mutations in Maleševo, south of Bitola, Debar, Struga, Dolna Prespa, Lerin; mixed with ч/дж mutations in Samokov (Shishmanovo) and Breznik. Variants of the жд → ждж mutation occur in Kostur (жд → ж /ʒ/) and Doyran (жд → йдж /ʲdʒ/).
шкь/жгь-dialects (ношкь /nɔʃc/, лешкя /leʃca/, срешкя /sreʃca/; прежгя /preʒɟа/, вежгьи /veʒɟi/, межгьа /meʒɟа/) are limited to very small area south of Bitola (also variant шьк /ʃʲk/) and Eastern Rup around Strandzha (variant жьгь /ʒʲɟ/ as in вежьгьи /veʒʲɟi/).
As repeatedly mentioned, *tj, *dj reflexes are an important phonological trait, characteristic for each individual Slavic language, and used for language differentiation. Bulgarian language is characterized with the шт(щ)/жд mutation on which the Standard Bulgarian is based. The presence of numerous *tj, *dj variants on the Bulgarian linguistic territory indicates outside linguistic influences and/or spontaneous modifications due to linguistic isolation of peripheral areas. Alternatively, this variability may be (and has been) explained with coexistence of fundamentally different dialect systems. This latter case would be indicated by an approximately simultaneous separation of two or more reflexes from the primitive Proto-Slavic *tj, *dj.

This issue became actual and received an added importance, with political overtones, in connection with the Bulgarian vs. Macedonian controversy. Historically, as in other border regions, this started as Bulgarian vs. Serbian controversy. Stojan Novaković, Serbian politician and diplomat, charged by the Serbian government with the mission to organize the assimilation campaign in Macedonia in accordance with the Serbian national (Garašanin) doctrine, propagated the idea that Slavs in Macedonia were Serbs because they spoke a dialect of Serbian language with the typical Serbian ћ,ђ reflex of Proto-Slavic *tj, *dj. Aleksandar Belić, a Serbian linguist, was more careful in making some distinction between Serbian affricates ћ,ђ and Macedonian plosives кь,гь; however, he considered the latter as a very close variant which is evident by the symbols that he used for those − ћК and ђГ. According to Belić, Macedonian dialects were divided into Southern (Solun, Kostur, Korcha to Bitola, Resen, Ohrid and Debar) and Northern ("true Macedonian dialect", Tetovo and Štip). In the Southern dialects *tj reflects in шт(шч), and *dj reflects in жд(ждж), while in the Northern the reflexes are ћ(ћК) and ђ(ђГ) [67].

The most detailed and comprehensive study of the *tj, *dj reflexes in Macedonia and Albania was carried out by the Russian linguist Afanasy Selishchev [68] [69]. He studied this phonetic trait in all aspects: not only the territorial distribution of dialect variants but also occurrence in different words, in different grammatical positions with a clear idea of all acustic and physiological specifics in relation to the neighboring Slav languages using data not only from written documents but also from toponymy. Selishchev stressed the fact that unlike the Serbian ћ and ђ, the Macedonian кь and гь are pronounced without frication. A fricative element was found very rarely to the north of Tetovo but even there, кь and гь were not identical to the Serbian affricates. Selishchev also noted the reduced palatization of кь and гь, which varies in different Bulgarian dialects from Macedonia.

On the basis of his study of the territorial distribution of шт/жд, шч/ждж, and кь/гь, Selishchev found that the basic reflex of the Proto-Slavic *tj, *dj in dialects from Macedonia is шт/жд or its more ancient stage шч/ждж. Using a huge amount of dialectological material, he found that this pronunciation was fixed on a large part of the territory of Macedonia: Debar, Struga, Ohrid, Resen, Kostur, Lerin, Solun, Kukush, Doyran, Maleševo. The шч/ждж is archaic and gives way to шт/жд. For this conclusion, Selishchev used the studies of V. Oblak and B. Tsonev who noted that in some dialects the old people spoke шч/ждж while the young knew only шт/жд. It was notable that the archaic шч was more resistant to the newer шт than ждж to жд. Thus, in some Debar, Resen and Kostur dialects the archaic шч was found along with жд.

Palatal кь, гь in a limited number of words and forms (e.g., кукя, кье, векье) are found also far to the east of Macedonia. Thus, the particle кье is found in many Eastern Bulgarian dialects. Nevertheless, through deeper analysis, Selishchev came to the conclusion that кь, гь are not innate to dialects in Macedonia but were calqued from the imported Serbian analogs together with the whole word. For example, the word кукя (house) is found throughout Macedonia. The process of borrowing is confirmed by the root vowel: here in the place of the dorsal nasal vowel one finds the vowel у /ʊ/ (compare bg:къща /kɤʃta/ with sr:кућа /kʊcça/). Even in Northern Macedonia, in Lešok, Selishchev heard both кукя and къща [70].

Toponymy provided very valuable data for study of кь and гь. Selishchev showed with toponyms that in the dialects of central Macedonia шт, жд are more ancient than кь and гь. For example, while in the vernacular from Prilep region the word for trousers is гакьи, diphthong шт is still preserved in the names of villages around Prilep − Кривогаштани /krivɔgaʃtani/ ("Crook-trousers") [68]. Later, he used toponyms to solve very difficult and baffling problems from the history of Macedonian dialects. Supported by many sources, Selishchev showed that the process of replacement of шч (шт) - ждж (жд) by кь, гь had been long and, by WWII, yet unfinished in many parts of Macedonia. Selishchev showed convincingly that this process goes from north to south. In the southeastern and southwestern corners, a very limited number of words were spoken with кь, гь.

There was one serious flaw in this analysis. Since the time of Gilferding (1850-60) toponyms in Albania and Greece that end in -kaki were thought to originate from the Proto-Slavic *tj. If this was true, one had to agree not only that кь is a specific Macedonian reflex of *tj but, what is more, that it existed in the language of those Slavs that in the 6-7th centuries flooded in great numbers not only in Epirus and Thessaly but also in Peloppones. Selishchev either had to explain the origin of these toponyms or disavow his views on the origin of кь, гь in the modern Macedonian dialects. He solved this problem in a special chapter in his book Slavic population in Albania (1931). [69]

The suffix -kaki interpreted as a reflex of the Proto-Slavic *ko,tja is a composition of heterogeneous elements that are never found in Macedonia. In dialects from Macedonia occur either къшта (къшча) or кукя. There are no examples of кушта (кушча) or къкя (какя). If such were found, they would contain both Bulgarian and Serbian reflexes of the Big Yus and *tj. The toponym Gardikaki, for example, is unique in this respect. Selishchev pointed out that these toponyms can end in -i but also without it. In Epirus and Albania they less often end in -u. These comparisons showed that the second element of the toponym was not related to the Proto-Slavic *ko,tja. The thorough research was successfully completed after taking into account the geologic and soil science publications on Albania and North Greece. From Albanian language, it was seen that the suffix -kuкь can be interpreted as "red"; it is often found on territory with Albanian settlements and specifically in places where the soil has reddish hue. In the region of Upper Shqumba the mountain peaks in Lurje are called Gurikuкь which means "red stone". North of Argirocastro one finds Hundokuкь or Hundёkuкь which means "red nose". In his book, Selishchev described many more examples [69].

This comprehensive analysis of dialects and toponymic data in Macedonia and Albania showed convincingly that кь, гь in place of the Proto-Slavic *tj, *dj is a late phenomenon arising under the influence of the Serbian phonetic system introduced (sometimes sporadically) by the Serbian administration, rulers, settlers, and teachers [71]. This analysis has wider significance beyond the narrow frame of classification of Slavic dialects in Macedonia and Albania. It bears direct relationship to the origin of Old Church Slavonic (Old Bulgarian) language. Before the publication of this analysis, in the Slavistic literature was current the hypothesis of N.S. Trubetskoy, N.N. Durnova and some other Slavists, according to which кь, гь arose directly from the Proto-Slavic *tj, *dj and were present in the language of Cyril and Methodius. The studies of Selishchev disproved this hypothesis [72]. Most linguists accepted Selishchev's conclusions [73], including most Bulgarian linguists [74] [75]. Some of the latter (Blagoj Shklifov, V. Georgiev) disagreed on the issue of whether кь, гь are internal or borrowed and in 1981-82 hypothesized that these reflexes arose as a result of specific processes, innate for the dialects in Macedonia [76] [75]. However, this new point of view was not supported by argumentation [72].

Some leading linguists from Republic of Macedonia (e.g., Acad. Božidar Vidoeski) appraised the study of Selishchev and used his classification and data in their works [77]; others implicitly acknowledged Selishchev's conclusions. For example, Blaže Koneski in his A Grammar of the Macedonian Literary Language (book 1, 1952) in which he stipulated the norms of the Macedonian Standard, listed the кь, гь reflex only as a second, supporting distinctive trait in Macedonian language after the ъ → o reflex; the latter is, indeed, a very early trait.

Classification by the ъ − о isogloss
The Dutch Slavist Nicolaas van Wijk proposed a classification of Bulgarian dialects by the reflex of OBg. ъ /*ɘ/ in o /ɔ/, that is, by the isogloss ъ − о: сън, дъш → сон, дош instead of OBg. сънъ, дъждь [78].

This reflex is known for its antiquity and since the time of Old Bulgarian divided the Bulgarian language area in two main dialect groups — Eastern and Western. However, the isogloss о—ъ is not very clearly distinguished and exhibits a great variability. Thus, о instead of OBg. ъ is found in the Western dialects and Pirdop dialect but in some dialects it is only in prepositions and prefixes (воф, воздàхна, сос, собỳе), in others − in prefixes and suffixes (воф, сос, пèток, песòк), and in third − in all closed syllables (вос, сос, пèток, бòчва, дош). Only in some Bulgarian dialects in Macedonia (Malashevo, Veles, Prilep-Mariovo, Debar, Kostur, Doyran, Kukush, Voden) vowel o completely substitutes ъ. Complete reflex ъ → о is found in some Rup dialects but there it is a result of a specific late process replacing a secondary Yer when two Yers/Nasals (Big or Small) occur in the same word: дош from дъждь (Big and Small Yers), мòгла from мьглѫ (Small Yer and Big Nasal), зоп from зѫбъ (Big Nasal and Big Yer), кльòтва from клѧтвѫ (Small and Big Nasals). In the Moesian dialects of Northern Bulgaria there is a reflex (vocalisation) of OBg. ъ in о in the article form for masculine (гърбò, нусò) and in the suffix -ък (добѝтọк, пèтọк). Therefore, this trait does not allow for a clear-cut classification of Bulgarian dialects [79].

In order to improve this classification, Prof. Tsonev proposed to classify Bulgarian dialects by both ъ (Big Yer) and ь (Small Yer) reflexes [80], thus dividing Bulgarian in 4 dialect groups:

Rup-Rhodopes with OBg. ъ reflecting in o and OBg. ь reflecting in йъ /ʲɘ/
South-Western with OBg. ъ reflecting in o and OBg. ь reflecting in ъ or e
North-Eastern with OBg. ъ reflecting in ъ and OBg. ь reflecting in ъ or e
North-Western with OBg. ъ reflecting in ъ and OBg. ь reflecting in ъ
This classification, too, has serious flaws in that it does not divide regularly the Bulgarian dialect area and the 4 groups do not include all variations. For instance, in the Moesian dialects of the North-Eastern group there is a reflex ъ > о, in the East Rup dialects of the Rup-Rhodopes group there is a reflex ь > е, etc. Taking into account only the reflexes of the OBg. ь, Bulgarian dialects have been classified in 3 groups [81]:

Dialects with soft reflexes on ь comprising Rup-Rhodopes with the soft reflexes е or йъ /ʲɘ/
Dialects with hard reflexes on ь represented by the transitional dialects: ь > ъ
Dialects with hard and soft reflexes comprising North-Eastern, South-Western, and the Eastern half of the North-Western dialects:ь > ъ (а) and е.
This classification is also not very clear-cut and does not divide the Bulgarian dialect area in approximately equal parts.

Classification by morphological and lexical traits
In the Bulgarian dialect area, several morphological and lexical boundaries can be drawn that approximately coincide and form a band of isoglosses. Such isoglosses are, e.g.:

The suffix for plural in polysyllable masculine nouns that end in a consonant. In the North-Western Bulgaria (except part of Moesian dialects), this suffix is -и /ɪ/, in Western and South-Eastern Bulgaria it is -е /ɛ/: пръстени, ръкàви, гълъби — пръстене, ръкàве, гълъбе.
The suffix for first person plural present tense for first and second conjugation verbs. In North-Eastern Bulgaria it is -м /m/, in Western and South-Eastern Bulgaria it is -ме /mɛ/: берèм, четèм, вървѝм — берèме, четèме, вървѝме.
The words: аз/я, недей/немòй, крак/ногà, рѝза/кошỳля, стан/разбòй, горèщ/жèжък, къс/крап, etc. The first word of these pairs occurs in North-Eastern Bulgaria, the second — in Western and South-Eastern Bulgaria.
Morphonological isoglosses in the accent of disyllabic neutral singular nouns and in the form for the imperative mood second person singular in the verbs of first and second conjugation. In North-Eastern Bulgaria the accent is on the suffix, in Western and South-Eastern Bulgaria — on the root: месò, кроснò — мèсо, крòсно; берѝ, носѝ, метѝ — бèри, нòси, мèти.
Interestingly, the band of morphological and lexical isoglosses goes along the Yat borders: both the primary, accepted one (Vit estuary to Vardar delta) and the secondary, apparent one (Pazardzhik to Burgas). Thus, they define a central (middle) region comprising North-Eastern and Central Bulgaria, and a lateral (peripheral) region comprising North-Western, South-Western, and South-Eastern Bulgaria which envelops the central region of the Bulgarian dialect continuum.

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76. Георгиев, В. И. Възникване на палаталните съгласни к' и г' от ш'т', ж'д' в югозападните български говори (Development of the palatal consonants к' and г' from ш'т', ж'д' in the south-western Bulgarian dialects). — Бълг. ез., 1982, 5:398-404.

77. Видоески Б. Основни диjалектни групи во Македониjа (Major south-western Bulgarian dialect groups). Македонски jазик (Bulgarian language in Macedonia), 1960-1961, 11-12:13-31.

78. Van Wijk, N. Zur Grenze zwischen dem Ost- und Westbulgarischen. Archiv für slav. Philologie, 1925, 39(3-4):212-216.

79. Романски, Ст. Македонски преглед (Macedonian review), 1925, 5-6:169-172.

80. Цонев, Б. 1906. Добрейшово четвероевангелие. Предговор (The Dobreysha quadri-gospel. Introduction). Sofia, pp. 30-31.

81. Кочев Ив. 1959. Застъпници на меката ерова гласна в български език (Substitutes of the soft Yer vowel in Bulgarian language). In:Статьи и материалы по болгарской диалектологии (Articles and materials in Bulgarian dialectology), 9:70-82, Moscow, 1959.

82. Stefan Verković. Народне песме македонских бугара (Folk songs of Macedonian Bulgarians), Belgrade, 1860.

83. Афанасий Селищев. Днешната югозападна граница на българската говорна област (Present south-western border of the Bulgarian dialect area), Македонски преглед (Macedonian Review), 7:1, 1930

84. Кръсте Мисирков. Към въпроса за пограничната линия между българския и сърбо-хърватския езици (On the borderline between Bulgarian and Serbo-Croatian languages), Българска сбирка (Bulgarian collection), 17: 1-2, 1910/11, p. 100

85. The Turks, the Greeks and the Slavons. Travels in the Slavonic Provinces of Turkey-in-Europe. By G. Muir Mackenzie and A. P. Irby, London, 1867. With Maps etc.

Hatshepsut

Bulgar toponyms

Source: https://lyudmilantonov.blogspot.com/2011/02/during-reign-of-anastasius-bulgars.html



"During the reign of Anastasius, Bulgars started to conquer this land, they passed to Bъdyne [Vidin] and firstly begun to conquer the Lower land of Ohrid and later all of it."
--Bulgarian translation of the Manasios Chronicle made during the reign of John-Alexander, 14th c.
According to early historical sources, Bulgars settled permanently in Srem and Singindunum (Belgrade) since the 5-6th century AD. Consequently, soon after that, Bulgars settled the territory of old Macedonia – dolna zemya ohridska [the Lower Land of Ohrid]. According to scripts left by the Turnovo kings, Bulgars settled Macedonia at the beginning of the 6th century, at the time of Emperor Anastasios.

Romania and Hungary
Banat, Turnu Mъgurele, Pest ...

Dwelling since 4th century AD on both sides of the Danube, Bulgars left behind many names of fortresses and cities. Their strongholds are recognized by specific endings -shi, -ik, -ich (-ech, -esh) of their names, but also in many other ancient features. North and east of Middle Danube, in the Roman-named region of Panonia, one finds Bulgar-sounding names like Brassó, Krassó, Barca, and Barót [István Bóna]. It is possible that, both in the Tisza region and Transylvania, the Bulgar overlords relied on the remnants of another ethnic group: the Onogur-Bulgars (Wangars), who had moved into the region in the same period as the Danubian Bulgars. In this case, the above Bulgar-type toponyms might well be of Onogur-Bulgar origin [István Bóna]. Transylvania obtains from Bulgars the name Banat, which probably comes from the eastern word ban (mountain), which is found today in the Pamir languages and in the lands of the former Caucasian Bulgars. Banat in Pamirian literally means 'the mountains' and is almost a complete copy of the Latin name of Transylvania and the Slavic name of that district – zagura, which comes from the phrase za guru – 'behind the mountain'. This specifically Bulgar name – Banat – was used throughout the early Middle Ages along with the Slavic name Zagura (Zagora). And to the south and west of Transylvania, on the whole territory between the Danube and the Carpathians, appeared dozens of villages with Bulgar names - Baile, Bъilesht, Voilovo (Boilovo), Balvanesht (from balvan, 'idol'), Turda (salt mine), Turtava (in Slavic slanik, 'salt pad'), Zhupanek, Chukich, Tilva (pointed iron stake), Halъnga, Turnu Mъgurele, Pъunesht

(from paun, 'peacock'), Toyaga (staff), Balsha, Kraguesht (from kraguy, 'hunter falcon'), Telesh (cf. the name of knyaz Telets), Telesh-Birnich, Hъrsesht, Zidone, Zidu, Sibin – from the Bulgar boyar name Sibin (renamed by the Romanians in Sibiu), Gubera, Almъzhiu, Segarcha, Mъndra (probably the same as the Mundraga fortress, in which Simeon took defence in the war with the Magyars), Tamburesht, Tsiguresh, Tsutsulesht, Tъtъran, Botorodzhi, Belchug, Tekuch-Kalinderu, Talpa-Trivalia, Okaba, Petrish, Kuzhmir, Bihar (Biharya), Hust, Bъlgrad (Gyulafehérvár), Beket, and others. Some of these names have their close counterparts further east. For example, the name Halъnga reminds the word Halanga or Halandzh characteristic of Volga Bulgars and Pamir, and the names of Bihar, Hust and Beket remind the Pamir cities Bukhara, Host, and Bakat - the last of which was mentioned as early as 550 AD. The name of the former town Pest (Peshta) – one of the towns that make today Budapest – is also of ancient Eastern origin which in Pamirian literally means 'the slope, the hill'.
Most of those names were found until recently in Romanian and Hungarian maps, and some exist even today. Almost the whole territory of present-day Romania is studded with ancient and medieval Bulgar names. The reason for this is not difficult to explain, since the oldest Bulgarian chronicle – Nominalia of the Bulgar kanas (kniazes), composed around 765, points out that for more than five centuries Bulgars had a country beyond the Danube ("ob onu stranu Dunaia").

Serbia
Srem, Belgrade, Kragujevac, Morava, Tumba, Nish, Pirot

But these traces are found not only in Romania and Hungary. They are also preserved in the region that was the earliest Bulgar conquest on the south side of the Danube, located in today eastern Serbia.



The first permanently controlled Bulgar land in the Balkans, recognized by Rome, is South-Danubian Panonia, with the major cities of Sirmium, Singindunum and Bononia [Angelov]. The arrival of Bulgars in this area was marked by a whole series of important changes. The city Sirmium got its new name Srem and the rivers Timakus and Margus were renamed in Timok and Morava. The river flowing to the west of Srem (today Serbianized as Mitrovica) got the name Kolubara. Old Singindunum became widely known as Alba Bulgarica ('Bulgarian town'). The Romano-Byzantine castle of Singindunum had white stone ramparts, and the Bulgars named it Belgrad, meaning 'White Castle' which contrastingly corresponds with the present-day Hungarian town Csongrád = cherni grad = 'black castle' [István Bóna]. Near Belgrade, a new fortress was built with the Bulgar name Tetel. All these changes occurred in the fifth-sixth century, when South-Danubian Pannonia was settled by the Bulgars. Even today most of the rivers flowing through eastern Serbia have the names given to them in that ancient Bulgar times.

The changes that Bulgars made in the names of those rivers and towns have their own interesting history. Why, for example, the river, called Margus in Roman times was renamed by Bulgars to Morava? The reason is that in the eastern regions, from which Bulgars arrived, the word murava occurred which means 'a quiet, peaceful river'. Like many other peoples, Bulgars liked to name things in simple words that make sense to them. And that is why they translated in their language most foreign names that they found in the Balkans. They did so not only with the names of rivers, but with the names of towns. In the oldest Bulgar centers of the Balkans – the land between Vidin and Srem – many ancient town names sound even today. Kragujevac received its name from the famous Bulgar hunting falcons – kragui – raised by specially designated people – kraguyari. Even today in Eastern Caucasus in areas once inhabited by Bulgars, the word kraguy means 'falcon'. The village Kutugertsi near Timok received its name from the name of the former Bulgar healers called kutugeri. Later this name became one of the names of the Bulgarian Bogomils. Tumba peak in Timok region also has an old Bulgar name. In one of the inscriptions of Omurtag, the tall mound halfway between the Danube and Pliska was called with the same word Tumba, and today in the old Bulgar territories around Pamir, mounts bear the names Tube and Tyube. Ancient Bulgar language echoes from the names of many peaks and mountains in this region – Vrъshka Chuka, Kom, Svъrlig, Kъrlig, and Viskyar. Echo of these names sounds today also in the Pamir Mountains, where viskyar in some languages means 'a hill' and chuka means 'peak', and in the Bulgar lands in the Caucasus, where Svъrlig literally means 'Sparrow mountain' (from svъrlo, 'sparrow').

As a souvenir left by the ancient Bulgars in Srem and Belgrade regions, an old plaque was found with Bulgar symbols, on which the typical symbol of old Bulgars – IYI – was engraved twice. The village, near which this plaque was discovered also bears a very old name. It is called Shudikovo in honor of some already forgotten Bulgar named Shudik. A similar name – shudik – is found today in the Caucasus among the neighbours of the erstwhile Kubrat Bulgars.

In addition to these ancient Bulgar names in the region between Vidin and Belgrade several other noteworthy names are found such as Murgash village, with the same name as peak Murgash in the Balkan Mountain, and also the villages Madara, Kalubre, Karanovchich, Chikatovo (from chigat, 'sword-bearer') Veli Shatra, Beleg, Chungula, Hubava, Globare, Globoder, Stopanya, Chokotar, Chuchulyaga, Vitosh, Mъrsach, Batush, Bubya, Gъrgure, Lagator, Kokoshine, Tsъrvulevo, Praskovche, Svirtsi, Vitoshevets, Plana, Prъzhdevo, etc. The ancient Bulgar origin of all these names is sealed in the words themselves.

The earliest bridgehead established by the Bulgars in their first migrations in the Balkans is covered even today with typical Bulgar traces. Those are particularly abundant in Timok Region that have been severed from Bulgaria at a relatively late time – during the nineteenth century, after the liberation of Serbia. But in Belgrade and Srem there are still many traces as those were Bulgarian lands for nearly eight centuries – from the late fifth century to the mid-fourteenth century. In old times Belgrade has been best known as the place where Cyril and Methodius' students first set foot on Bulgarian soil. There, according to the hagiography of St. Kliment Ohridski, they were welcomed by the Bulgarian governor – bori-tarkhan, who conveyed them to Boris in Preslav [Reader, p. 297]. Both the title of the governor, and the text of the hagiography leave no doubt that in the ninth century Belgrade was a big Bulgar fortress. At the time of Samuel, Belgrade was still a Bulgarian town and is mentioned among the conquered Bulgarian settlements by Basil II in the chrysobull of 1015 [Reader, p. 145]. The Crusaders who came in 1096 in Belgrade and Nish mentioned those as Bulgarian cities, managed by Bulgarian dukes and principals:

Hic itaque, sine offensione et aliquo adverso incursi, usque ad Belegravum, civitatem Bulgarorum, profectus est, transiens Malevillam, ubi terminatur fines regni Ungarorum. ... Walterus licentiam emendi vitae necessaria requisivit a principe Bulgarorum et magistratu civitatis. ...Walterus, relictis circumquanque sociis, fugitivus silvas Bulgarorum, per dies octo, exsuperans, ad civitatem ditissimam, quae vicatur Nizh, in medio Bulgarorum regno, secessit: ubi duci et principi terrae reperto ... dicto duce Nichita nomine, principe Bulgarorum et praeside civitatis Belegravae ...
"So, passing through Mallevilla [Zemun] where the limits of the Hungarian Kingdom end, he went, without making an offence or enemy attack, as far as the Bulgarian town Belegrava [Belgrade]. ... Walter asked from the Bulgarian governor and the city governance a right to buy vital necessities. ... Walter abandoned his comrades everywhere and, running, passed the Bulgarian forest and retired in the very rich town called Nizh [Nish] in the middle of the Bulgarian Kingdom: there he found the duke and the governor of the land whom he told ... the above duke named Nikita, prince of Bulgaria and governor of Belegrava [Belgrade] ... " [Alberti Aquensis].

The last evidence of Belgrade as a Bulgarian town is from 1259 when it was conquered by the Magyars (PC, II, 76-77). Two centuries later, when the Magyars were pushed by the Turks beyond the Danube, Belgrade fell in the hands of the Serbs, who at that time were vassals of the Ottoman Empire. In strict observance of their vassality, Serbs settled permanently in the conquered with Turkish help town and over time it became their main stronghold.

If we go down from Srem, Belgrade and Vidin (South-Danubian Panonia) towards Ohrid, the road passes through the ancient fortress Naisos, renamed Nish by Bulgars at the same time when Margus became Morava and Timakus became Timok. This name of the town given by the Bulgars remarkably coincides with the name of one of the most famous towns near Pamir – the capital of the old Partian Empire called Nissan. Close to Nish is Pirot – another town named by Bulgars in their specific Bulgar language. The name of Pirot is similar to the eastern word pirg (stronghold). The Bulgar character of the population of Nish, Pirot, and the Timok River Basin to the north-east has been preserved at least until the beginning of the 20th century, albeit largely Serbianized, as evidenced by the British traveller Mary Edith Durham. She saw a distinctly Bulgar cast of countenance and build in Pirot. Before its annexation to Serbia in 1878, Pirot was an undoubtedly Bulgar district. The population along the frontier and around Zaitchar was Bulgar and Romanian, the flat-faced, heavily built Bulgar with high cheekbones and lank black hair predominating. This is corroborated by local customs. Carpet making was widespread and the carpets were truly Bulgarian in origin. Carpets were not made in any other part of Serbia. And the neighbouring peasants played the bagpipe, the typical Bulgar instrument. Old books of travel call Nish a Bulgar town. Bulgars extend not only into the south of Serbia, but in the east spreads over the Timok. [Durham]

Macedonia
Gostivar, Vardar, Ohrid, Bitola

This important episode in the life of ancient Bulgars can be traced across maps. From Pirot, going through Gostivar, a town named so by the Panonian Bulgars, one reaches the land of Ohrid – the Promised Land that was destined to be Bulgarian as early as the 6th century and where, according to the old Bulgarian chronicles, began the gradual settlement of Bulgarians on the Balkan Peninsula. The early settlement of Bulgars in Ohrid region is marked with the same traces as their settlement in Dacia Panonia to the north of the Danube and in Sirmium between Vidin and Srem. Coming near the Ohrid lake, the Bulgars immediately gave new names to towns. Former Lichnida got its present name Ohrid, the Lichnida Lake became Ohrid Lake, the river Axios was renamed to Vardar, the town of Pelagonia was called Bitola (from the old Bulgar term bitol – 'gathering place'), the town of Selasphor became Devol, new fortresses were built and were called Struga, Prespa and Prilep. All major towns in the region of Macedonia received new names by the Bulgar settlers and this fact is explicitly noted in the old Byzantine sources.

The Byzantine poet John Tsetsas, ridiculing the ignorance of some of his contemporaries who were not aware that Vardar was the new Bulgar name of the River Axios, even wrote a satire on this occasion.

But the Peonians (Panonians) are Bulgars! Do not believe fools who tell you that Peonians are different people. Those fools think that Axios is different from Vardar. [Sources, p. 104].
For Tsetsas, it was funny not to know that the Bulgars came at the shores of Ohrid Lake from Panonia, called Peonia by medieval Greek authors, and that these new settlers renamed Axios to Vardar.

But how exactly the new names Ohrid and Vardar came into being and why the Bulgars were those who brought them in the Balkans? There are indications that in these names the ancient Bulgars put some special sense. In the Pamir and Hindukush, the ancient Bulgar native land, the word var means 'powerful'. And the rivers there most often bear the suffix Dar or Darya: Amu Darya, Sur Darya, Surhan Darya, etc. Therefore, the name Vardar was not only brought by the ancient Bulgars, but it was derived from their own language, and Tsetsas was not only once but twice correct when he scorned those who were not aware of its Bulgar origin. The meaning that the old Bulgars put in this name is quite deep. In their language Vardar meant 'Powerful River, Heroic River'.

Bulgars put a similar fine meaning to the name of the main town of south-western Macedonia – Ohrid. It is most likely associated with the word okhro (gold) that is found to the present day in the area of the old Kubrat Bulgaria. Traces of this old Bulgar word are kept in the term okhra (yellowish paint) preserved in the modern Bulgarian language. Ohrid probably means 'golden' or 'gold-like'. Evidently, this name did not arise accidentally. It bears quite a strong resemblance to the ancient Greek name Lichnidos, which means 'shiny', 'brilliant'. Thus Ohrid, like Vardar, turned out to be an old Bulgar, quite beautiful, name: 'Golden Town'.

Struga, Prespa, Prilep, Devol

Other major towns of Ohrid region also carry ancient Bulgar names. The names Struga, Prespa, Prilep are understood only by someone who knows Bulgarian. The word struga exists till the present day in some Bulgarian dialects to mean 'mountain pass' or 'a narrow corridor to let sheep in the pen' (also called sturga), while prilep (bat) and pryaspa (snowdrift) are words widely used in modern Standard Bulgarian that do not exist in any other Slavic language. The name Devol, incomprehensible today, with which Bulgars renamed the town Selasphor also has a very interesting origin. Similar names of settlements are found only in the region of the Pamir, where devol means everywhere 'high fence'.

In the speech of people from the regions of Ohrid, Prilep, Bitola, southwest Korcha and other Balkan lands we find remnants of the language spoken by the Kuber Bulgars. There is a number of hitherto unexplained words and phrases such as apotinano (and you, mommy) zhimiboga (my god), tugina (abroad), vo gerizon (in the brook), kuchento (the dog), kъshta (house), toynaka, tyanaka, az, mie (that), eve, evo, gyoa (it seems that), kod (with, at), etc. which are found even today in the Orient in the lands, sometime populated with Pamir and Caucasian Bulgars.

The traces left behind by the ancient Bulgars on the map of the low Ohrid land once correctly known as Lower Bulgaria are unusually numerous and extend down to the coast of the Adriatic Sea. On the territory of present Albania the strongholds Kanina, Korcha, Himar, Balshi are now known from very old chronicles. These names have unmistakably old Bulgar origin. One of them, Himar, is similar to the name of the capital of Kubrat Bulgaria, Humar, while the town of Korcha sounds very similar to another large town of Kubrat Bulgaria – Korchev (today Kerch on the Azov Sea). The early presence of Bulgars in these parts is shown by the year 866 inscription found near Balshi which reports the Christianisation of the Bulgars by knyaz Boris. The very name Balshi is found not only in Albania but also in two other places – beyond the Danube, in the present-day village Balshi and near Sofia, where exists a village called Balsha.

Interestingly, during the 9th century some westernmost Bulgarian towns had two names – old Bulgar and Slavic name. For example, Balshi was called also Glavinitsa and Dubrovnik (then a town bordering Bulgaria) was called Raguza. The custom of Bulgars to give their own names to every larger town is evident throughout the regions settled by them. Bulgars named in their language even the capitals of foreign countries. Vienna, for example, was called Bech or Pecs, and Austria was called Bechko. Due to the fact that many old names of towns existed in two or even three forms, it becomes possible to understand their hidden meaning. For example, if one look at the lands of the Orient and in particular in the Pamir and Caucasus, it appears that there the word balsha means literally 'pillow', that is, the same meaning as the old Slavic word glavinitsa. Again in the Pamir one finds the word Pecs, which literally means 'curved, kinked', i.e. the same meaning as the old Slavic word viena ('bent, twisted' from the verb viya 'twist, bend'). Bulgar and Slavic names are often close matches to each other, and the Bulgar and Greek names were sometimes similar in meaning, as evidenced by the names Lichnida and Ohrid.

It is difficult to describe all traces that ancient Bulgars left in near Ohrid and in Albania. Here will be listed only the most important and interesting examples. In South Macedonia we find the settlements Trapshi, Kolshi, Gobeshi, Belshi, Gramshi formed in the same model as the old Bulgar name Glavinitsa – Balshi. The suffix -shi that is characteristic for these names is included in old Bulgar words humshi and tulshi from the Preslav inscription and represents a special old Bulgar nominal suffix. Of old Bulgar origin in that region are the names Chuka, Chuka-borya, Tabahon, Kulumria, Okshtuni (cf. the name Ohsunos), Zhupani, Harusha, Harushasъ, Bulgarets, Turan, Tumba, Tuholyo (cf. OBg, tohol in Avi-tohol), Kutsaka, Shishman, Botun, Sharenik, Kruma, Kosara, Lъoyma, Sukadzhiu (cf. OBg. sokachii, 'chef'), Plana, Munega, Dzibraka and others.

In Central and Eastern Macedonia and Greek Thrace we find Sindel, Isperlik, Zuzula, Tsare (cerris oak), Vinyahi (cf. with knyaz Vineh), peak Presian (above Kavala) peak Chavka (daw), Kishino, Shamak (name of swamp), Kanareto (village in Northern Greece), Mount Harvata and others.

In Albania are preserved names as Kamchishta, Sharan (carp), Sharani (carps), Mostachi, Zhegulya (joke pin), Bilecha, Tsera, Plana, Shevarlie, Tolishe, Mъrtsine, Chukasi (rocky peaks) Gruemira-chesme (fountain of Gruemir) Bukъmira, Bъhot, Brestus (the elm), Tana-i-bulgaritъ (Tana the Bulgarian) Mъniku (midget), Kuchi, Sasani, Kutse, Tsuta-Zhupanatъ, Stani-i-Mizъs (Stan the Moesian), Mushan, Priska, Balsheni, Bardor (cf. OBg Barduar), Veli-Kaliman, Borichi, Bushnish (hemlock), Rabosha, etc. Drach on the Adriatic, identified as a Bulgarian town in the 7th century, also keeps its name.
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Hatshepsut

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Eastern Bulgaria

The arrival of Bulgars in Dobrudzha and the Danubian Plain was marked by a series of great changes that were similar to those in the Ohrid region. Two of the largest extant fortresses, Durostorum and Odesos, were renamed by the Bulgars to Drъstъr and Varna. The ancient Dionisopolis (today Balchik), called Kruni by the Thracians, received its new name Karvuna while the subsequently acquired town Beroe was renamed to Boruy. New towns and fortresses, unknown until then, appeared such as the Madara fortress, Tutrakan (close to the former Transmariska), Kebedzhe (near the former Dianopolis – Devnya), Shumen, Shabla, Sindel, Nevsha, Hъrsovo, Cherven, and south of the Balkan – Krъn, Tuthon (former Anhialo) and Chenge, called Tsika by the Greeks.
Some of the towns in Eastern Bulgaria had three names in this period – Bulgar, Slavic, and Greek – e.g. Tuthon–Pomorie–Anhialo (cf. Kefalonia–Glavinitsa–Balshi). Even the newly named capital Pliska seems to have had two names at first – Plъskov and Aboba. The closest village to the ruins of Pliska was called Aboba by the local population.

It is remarkable for the Eastern Bulgarian lands that almost all bigger towns in this period get their names from the Asparuh Bulgars. Their names most often come from the east and have very clear and transparent meaning. In the ancient fatherland of Asparuch Bulgars even today can be found the word drъstъr meaning 'strong, difficult to capture'. Also occuring are the words boruy which means simply 'town', the word tutra – 'steepness' which probably the name of Tutrakan comes from, and also the word aboba – 'big earthen wall' which probably one of the names of Pliska (Aboba) comes from.

The name of the main Bulgar temple of Madara was also brought from the east. Traces of it are found both in Caucasus where the center of the former Kubrat state was located, and close to Pamir. In Caucasus the word madar means even today 'keep, revere' [Chuvash]. In the ancient languages that were spoken near the western borders of Pamir – in Mohenjo-Daro and Harapa, the sacrifications were called mandira, and the priests were called mandira-karan. The Sanskrit term mantra – 'sacred hymn', is also connected to these ancient religious terms. Madara was no doubt the sacred home of Bulgars. This characteristic is sealed in its very name which in ancient Bulgar meant 'the sacred place' or, maybe, 'the blessed place'. In the same way as in later times many settlements were founded with the names Tsъrkva, Manastir, Manastirishte, Bulgars gave the name Madara – 'the temple', 'the sacred place'. And namely because Madara was the most revered place by the Bulgars, in its rocks was cut the pantheon of the founder of the Bulgarian state – knyaz Asparuh.

As a whole, traces left by the Asparuh Bulgars on the map of Eastern Bulgaria are as numerous and distinct as the traces left in the Ohrid region and in Albania. In both places, Bulgars named with their own names all major towns upon arrival. In the Ohrid region these are Ohrid, Bitolya, Struga, Prespa, Prilep, Kukush, Kostur, etc.; in Albania: Drach, Balshi, Devol, Kanina, Korcha, Himar; and in Eastern Bulgaria: Drъstъr, Varna, Karvuna, Madara, Tutrakan, Shumen, Shabla, Kaspichan, Sindel, Chenge, Chirpan, and the newly built capital – Aboba. The handwriting of state construction in Bulgars was the same. So were the names they gave to their towns. They are usually beautiful eastern epithets that are found even today in the lands inhabited by ancient Bulgars before their migration to the Caucasus and the Balkans.

Towns, peaks, rivers, lakes ...

All lands that today surround Bulgaria are colored with the evokative and beautiful names brought long ago by the ancient Bulgars. Such names are found in Romania and Hungary (Biharya, Peshta, Pech), in Eastern Serbia (Srem, Kraguevac, Morava, Pirot, Nish), in whole Macedonia and Albania. These names delineate the living space of Bulgars. They all are branches of the big nest built by them after conquering the Balkans.
But not only towns in the surrounding lands bear Bulgar names. Such names bear most mountains to the west and south. Ancient Bulgar sounding is preserved in two of the most common mountain terms in the Balkans – chuka and chukar. These two words occur in Romania, and also in Eastern Serbia – the first Bulgar beach-head on the Balkans, and also in the Ohrid-Skopie region, Albania, and Northern Greece. In addition to the Balkans, the specific term chuka occurs in only one other region – in Pamir and Hindukush. There, the word chuka is pronounced in the same way as in Bulgaria and means a high, most often bleak, mountain.

The two places in the world where this geographic term occurs have only one thing in common: there lived or live Bulgars. Therefore, this word is undoubtedly a heritage left by the Bulgar forefathers. That Bulgars is the people that brought to the Balkans the word chuka is evident from the derivative term – chukari. It is connected to the word chuka approximately in the same way as the old Bulgar title boila was connected to its derivative word boilar (bolyars). In both word pairs, the specific suffix -ar is found with which in the Bulgar language the plural of nouns was formed. So there can be no doubt that these names are of Bulgar origin. Names as Chukich in Western Romania, Chukaritsa in Eastern Serbia, Chuka and Chuka-Borya in Macedonia, Chukata and Chukara in the Rhodopes, Chukas and Chukasi in Albania today point like huge road signs the scope of the many-century Bulgar presence on the Balkans. And names as Vrъshka chuka, in which one of the words is Slavic, and the other is Bulgar, show that the word chuka was transferred from Bulgars to their neighbouring Slavic people. It is obvious that this combined name arose in a very early period, witnessed by the archaic epithet vrъshka, which, albeit Slavic, is not found today in any living Slavic language.

Of ancient Bulgar origin are also other three specific mountain terms – rъt, rid, and urva. All three are found in the east among the peoples of the Pamir circle. Some of the not so common and isolated names of peaks and ridges like Burel, Viskyar, Ruy, Ruen, Midzhur, Syutkya, Bunay, or of fields and gardens like Zne-pole, Mosko-pole, Bohot also come from the east, from the old homeland of the Asparuh Bulgars. The name Burel comes probably from bur – 'chalk', a widely occuring word in Pamir. Midzhur comes from midzh – 'black', a common word among peoples that populate the lands of the ancient Caucasian Bulgars at the Caspian Gates. Zne-pole comes from the Pamir word zne – 'closed, secretive', Bohot from boh – 'garden', and Syutkya in the Rhodopes from sutk – 'rounded' [Pakhalina].

From very far away come the names of some rivers, swamps, and lakes on the Balkans. Other than Morava, Sava, and Vardar, that were mentioned above, their own eastern counterparts have also the rivers Vъcha, Skъt, Kamchia, Bъta, and Tsibъr while the names Mikre and Shamag (a swamp near Skopie) remind the Caucasus word mikre (swamp) and the old Bulgar name of the Balaton Lake – Shomog.

Contrary to the assumptions that old Bulgars disappeared leaving almost no traces, they spangled the map of the Balkans with tens and hundreds of their own names. Their memory is written on the land itself. And from this indelible and indestructible land memory, it can be best surmised where the old Bulgars lived, what was their occupation, what was their language.

Origin of the definite article

Of special scientific value are the oldest Bulgar names remaining on the territory of today Romania, Hungary, and Serbia, as well as Macedonia and Albania. If we look closer in such ancient names as Biharya, Zidu, Turnu, Stopanya, Kalubre (Kalubrya), Madare (Madarya), Bitolya, Tsera, Linya, Zhegulya (joke pin), Rabosha, Mъniku (the midget), etc., scattered around in the lands neighbouring Bulgaria, we'll see a recurring feature. They very often end with the definite articles -a, -ya, -u (-o) that are characteristic in the Balkans only for Bulgarian language. By this trait, old Bulgar names can be easily recognised among the names of any neighbouring Balkan people. Because only ancient Bulgars had words like Biharya (the bihar, i. e. 'the monastery'), zidu (zido, 'the brickwall'), or Turnu (turno, 'the tower'), Kalubrya (the kolobъr), Stopanya, Chigota (the chigot), Pirgu (pirgo, 'the fortress'), Babuna (the Bogomil), Leskota ('the hazel'), etc.
It is well known that sometime only in Bulgarian one could say zidon ('the brickwall'), or chukava ('the hill') and this trait survived till present time in the folk dialects where at the end of words various definitive suffices are attached – cf, e.g. the variants zhenava, zhenana, zhenasa which in several Bulgarian dialects have only one meaning: 'the woman'. In the ancient Bulgar names scattered widely in the neighbouring countries one can see attached at the end almost all of these archaic definite articles. Side by side one can find zidu and zidone, as well as Turda and Turtava ('the mine'), Orsha (patrol, patrol booth) and Orshava (the patrol).

This feature occurs as early as 6th, 7th, and 8th centuries in the trans-Danubian Bulgar names like Biharya, Orshova, Turnu-Severin, Turnu-Mъgurele, Turda (Turtava). It can be seen in the same early period in the Sirmium region and the Ohrid region. When Bulgars settled in these regions in the sixth century there appeared names such as Madarya, Kolubrya, and Bitolya. Such typical Bulgar names appear very early also in the north-eastern part of the Balkan Peninsula. Soon after the arrival of Asparuh, the eastern part of the Balkan Mountain acquired the Bulgar name Veregava (ModBg:verigata, 'the chain'), which is mentioned around 830 in the Theophanes chronicle. The suffix -va in this new name is the same as in the old trans-Danubian names Turtava and Orshova, composed from the words turta (turda) and orsha. To the east – in Pamir and Hindukush, female nouns acquire this very same definite article -va in a number of languages. The name Madara, no doubt brought by the Asparuh Bulgars and preserved in Eastern Serbia as Madarya, shows that in the language of Asparuh the definite article -a (-ya) occured, i.e, the same definite article that appears in the trans-Danubian names Biharya and Peshta and in the Timok name Kolubrya.

Asparuh Bulgars brought to Eastern Bulgaria also other names of this type. The names of Madara, Bitola (Bitolya), Veregava, Kolubrya and others show that in the language of Asparukh Bulgars each word had two forms - defined and undefined, something missing in Slavic languages. The definite form was constructed with almost the same articles as in modern Bulgarian. The article for masculine was -a, and for feminine most often -va and was added to the end of the defined word.

That feature of Bulgar names is found in many other strange toponyms. For example, when John of Rila decided to become a hermit, he went first in an area that bore the name Skrino, i.e. ModBg:skrinъt ('the dresser', [Reader, p. 463]). This was around 920, but the name of the area itself was undoubtedly given earlier – in the 8th or 9th century. Around 920, the large port Konopa ('the hemp') was mentioned to be in Bulgaria in today's Northern Dobrudja [Reader, p. 166]. It was one of the two most important ports between the mouth of the Danube and Varna and was located north of Constantia (Kyustendzha). The name Konopa containing the defininitive article -a was clearly given by the Bulgars long before 920, because at that time Konopa was already a big and famous city. Also in the ancient name of Pliska – Plәskova, is apparent a particular definite article. Its closest concept is the Iranian word Plәsko – "center, environment", but at its end is attached the already known definite article -va (as in the words Veregava, Turtava, Orshova etc.). The name of Pliska – Plәskova, which in Bulgar language meant most likely 'the center, the capital', was formed by the same grammatical pattern as Madara – with a postfixed definite article.

Names of a similar type appeared very early in all other parts of the old Bulgaria. For example, when in 1017 Basil II defeated Samuil's Bulgaria, its last defender Ivats retired to an inaccessible mountainous place whose name the Greeks wrote as Vrohot [Reader, p. 273]. In Western Bulgaria the word vrәh ('peak') sounds in many places like vrao, vraot, vrahot, and this shows pretty well what the word marked as vrohot could mean. Before us is a typical Bulgarian name ending with a full definite article (a variant of -әt) used as early as 10 centuries ago. At that time, written Bulgarian used exclusively the Slavic case system. Definite articles started to appear in writing 250 years later. The same suffix -ot occurs in the name Botrot (from botra – 'dairy') recorded again in Samuil's Bulgaria.

Still in this early age – around 1070, in the Eastern Rhodopes near Bachkovo Monastery, names are found written as Velikon (i.e. 'the great') and Lahanara i.e. 'the gardener' (from the Greek word lahana – 'cabbage, vegetable'). The first contains the definite article -on, similar to that in the name Zidone, and the second – the well known definite article -a. Charters of various churches and monasteries from Thessaloniki and Ohrid were found in the same period that list male names and nicknames Buhala (i.e. 'the Owl'), Bardokvata, Bodina, Bryasta; all show that the peculiar Bulgar article forms were used very early, and did not arise in 13-14th century, as was until recently assumed.

With their arrival to the south of Danube ancient Bulgars brought the postfixed article as the most important trait of their language and this is why the names containing postfixed articles occur in 7-10th century in all Bulgar lands – in North and trans-Danubian Bulgaria, in West Bulgaria and Lower Bulgaria (Ohrid Region), in Eastern Rhodopes.

It is notable that all early names that end in Bulgar article forms have roots that are foreign to Slavic languages. The words verega, galat, plъsko, orsha, turda, konop, bihar, madar, kolobъr, butra from which the names Veregava, Plъskova, Orshova, Turtava, Konopa, Biharya, Madara, Kolubrya, Butrot are constructed, do not occur among Slavs while they are very common in Bulgar-inhabited lands before the Bulgar migration to the Balkans. This is a proof that the postfixed article forms in Bulgarian language did not arise on a Slavic basis but are inherited from the language of Asparuh and Kuber Bulgars.

Indeed, looking through the old Bulgar names of towns and mountains, one cannot help noticing that they contain many specific words by which the Bulgarian language differs from the surrounding Balkan languages. To get a better impression about this, let us select from the old Bulgar names dispersed throughout Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia, only those that even today are understood by each Bulgarian.

Here they are:

Zidu, Skrino, Konopa, Stopanya, Globarya, Brъshlyanya, Hubava, Morunesht, Birnich, (Telesh-Birnich), Chungula, Tsiguresht, Tamburesht, Toyaga, Bisercha, Belchug, Gizdъvesh, Murgash, Chukara, Chuchulyaga, Gushtera, Machkata, Sharani, Hralupi, Gъrlitsa, Gurgul, Gъrgur, Gurgulyat, Buhala, Kurilya, Kraguevets, Tъnganu, Gliganu, Kuchi, Mъniku, Pryaspa, Prilep, Gubera, Gъvana, Vъrtopu, Devesel (ModBg: devesil, 'lovage, hogweed'), Bъzъn ('the elder'), Tъntava (ModBg: tintyava, 'gentian'), Chubra, Buren, Praskovche, Kachulats, Kokoshine, Kosheren, Kochine, Tъrlo, Shipot, Balvan, Chukich, Rabosha, Tsъrvulovo, Svirtsi, Obay gora, Bayna basha, etc.

All these names are written in the way they are found in Romania, Serbia, and Macedonia, i.e. with the inavoidable distortions under Romanian and Serbian influence. But even so, they remain markedly Bulgarian and cannot be confused with Serbian and Romanian names. These words are Bulgarian, and not Serbian or Romanian, their grammar is typically Bulgarian and this is why every Bulgarian can understand them without translation while Romanians and Serbs cannot.

But why a Bulgarian can understand these names while for other peoples, including Slavic ones, they are vague and obscure? There are two reasons: first, because Slavs haven't most of the peculiar words contained in these ancient names. Second, because other Slavs haven't the specific article forms that help translate their exact meaning. The only people that had such words and such grammatical forms in the Balkans were the Asparuh Bulgars. Therefore, all the above-listed names are left by them. They are a direct heritage from the Bulgar language.

Not only Bulgarian history but also the map of Bulgaria is to a great extent created and written by the Asparuh Bulgars. But this fact was unknown for a long time. Only discovering the ancient names, dispersed by Bulgars everywhere on the Balkans, helped to understand what a people they were and what they left on both sides of the Danube.

Today there is no doubt that a large part of the names that sound not only under the today's Bulgarian sky but also in the neighbouring Balkan countries, are brought by the Asparuh and Kuber Bulgars.

Serbs use Bulgar words when they pronounce the names of Srem, Kraguevac, Nish, Pirot, and Morava. Romanians wake a sound of the thousand-year old Bulgar language when they pronounce the names of Biharya, Orshova, Turnu-Severin, Turnu-Mъgurele, and Bъalesht. And Bulgarians pronounce Bulgar words when they mention Pliska, Madara, Tutrakan, Shabla, Kavarna and many other Bulgarian towns, and also when they mention Ohrid, Vardar, Drach, Balshi, Korcha, and Raguza.

The fate of every great people seems to be giving something to the neighbouring peoples and then sink into itself, giving away part of its own creations and sometimes even forgetting about them. But even when a people leaves the places that it once inhabited, it leaves behind names of towns, rivers, and mountains. And by these names, every people can see who it was and where it lived.

References

Die Slavische Manasses-Chronik. Auch der Ausgabe von Jan Bogdan. Muenchen, Wilhelm Fink Verlag 1966, page 115.

Durham, M. E. (Mary Edith), Twenty years of the Balkan tangle, BiblioBazaar, LLC, 2007, ISBN 1434634264, Project Gutenberg e-text # 19669, p. 40.

István Bóna, Southern Transylvania under Bulgar Rule, Chapter II.6 In: History of Transylvania (Béla Köpeczi, Gen. Ed.), Vol. 1, 2001-2002 Social Science Monographs, Boulder, Colorado; Atlantic Research and Publications, Inc. Highland Lakes, New Jersey

Reader in Bulgarian History, Vol. 1, Sofia, 1978

Sources in Bulgarian History, Vol. 22

Dimitar Angelov. Formation of the Bulgarian Nation, Sofia, 1971

T. Pakhalina. Sarikolo-Russian dictionary. Moscow, 1971

Chuvash-Russian dictionary. Moscow, 1980

Alberti Aquensis. Recueil des Historiens des Croisades, publié par les soins de l'Académie des inscriptions et belles lettres, Historiens Occidentaux, IV, Paris 1879, pp. 269-713.

Hatshepsut

Words for Relatives in Bulgarian


Bulgaria is a place where you cannot be farther than 500 km away from your family, no matter how hard you try. Families often live in the same area or, if they don't, one can always take a quick holiday to visit the folks на село (na selo, meaning "back in the village"). In fact, children often spend the summer months with one or the other set of grandparents somewhere in the country: in a village, a town or a small city.

The centuries-old familial traditions and bonds are reflected in the Bulgarian language. Much like the proverbial Inuit and their many words for snow, there are five different words for "uncle" in Bulgarian, four for "aunt", three for "brother-in-law" and four for "sister-in-law".


But, let's start with the easy ones. (Words preceded by an asterisk don't have a known (to me) equivalent in English.)

.

Parents, grandparents and children:

Баща (bashtá) – father, usually called "tatko" or "tate".
Майка (máyka) – mother, addressed as "mamo" or "mayko"
Син (sin) – son
Дъщеря (dushteryá) – daughter
Внук (vnuk) – grandson
Внучка (vnúchka) – granddaughter
Дядо (dyádo) – grandfather
Баба (bába) – grandmother
Прадядо (prádyado) – great-grandfather (and any male in his generation)
Прабаба (prábaba) – great-grandmother (and any female in her generation)
.

Brothers, sisters and cousins:

Брат (brat) – brother
Сестра (sestrá) – sister
*Батко (bátko) – older brother, often said with affection
*Кака (káka) – older sister, often said with affection
Братовчед (bratovchéd)- cousin (male)
Братовчедка (bratovchédka) – cousin (female)
.

Parents' Siblings and Siblings' Children

Племенник (plémennik) – nephew
Племенничка (plémennichka) – niece
The following are all words that correspond to the English "aunt" and "uncle".

Чичо (chícho) – broad term for "uncle", more specifically a father's brother. This is also the name given by children to any adult they don't know, similar to "mister" or "sir".
*Стринка (strínka) – a father's brother's wife
Леля (lélya) – broad term for "aunt", more specifically a father's sister.  This is also the name given by children to any female adult they don't know, similar to "madam", but less formal.
*Калеко / лелинчо (kaléko or lelíncho) – a father's sister's husband
*Вуйчо (vúycho) – a mother's brother
*Вуйна (vúyna) – a mother's brother's wife
*Тетка (tétka) – a mother's sister
*Тетинчо (tetíncho) – a mother's sister's husband
*Свако (svako) – in Eastern Bulgaria, the husband of a mother's or a father's sister
.

By marriage:

Съпруг (suprúg) – husband
Съпруга (suprúga) – wife
Зет (zet) – the husband of a daughter, son-in-law
Снаха (snahá) – the wife of a son, daughter-in-law
The following are parents-in-law:

*Тъст (tust) – the father of a wife
*Тъща (túshta) – the mother of a wife
*Свекър (svékur) – the father of a husband
*Свекърва (svekúrva) – the mother of a husband
The following are what parents-in-law call each other:

*Сват (svat) – the father of a child's spouse
*Сватя (svátya) – the mother of a child's spouse
The following are all words that correspond to the English "brother-in-law" and "sister-in-law".

*Девер (déver) – a husband's brother
*Шурей (shúrey) – a wife's brother
*Зълва (zúlva) – a husband's sister
*Балдъза (baldúza) – a wife's sister
*Шуренайка (shurenáyka) – a wife's brother's wife
*Баджанак (badzhanák) – a wife's sister's husband. Two men married to sisters are badzanaci to each other.
*Етърва (etúrva) – a husband's brother's wife. Two women married to brothers are eturvi to each other.

https://blazingbulgaria.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/words-for-relatives-in-bulgarian/